Eruptions of the Nyiragongo volcano in May 2021 caused unfathomable damage, including loss of life and property, and displacement of thousands of people, affecting the city of Goma in particular. Furthermore, it charred health and school infrastructures and decimated crops and compounded challenges to COVID-19 and Ebola response through interruption of surveillance, preventive measures and vaccination. In this paper, we discuss the impacts of the volcanic eruption on population health and Ebola preparedness and response in the context of the global COVID-19 outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The authors argue it is critical to provide basic needs to victims of the Nyiragongo volcanic eruptions in the disaster’s aftermath. Local and global humanitarian organizations are needed to assist residents in relocating. Furthermore, appropriate and adjusted mitigation strategies will significantly prevent Ebola, COVID-19, and other infectious diseases.