On the 8th of May 2018 the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo declared a new Ebola outbreak in the Bikoro Health Zone, in the Equateur Province. A total of 45 cases of hemorrhagic fever have now been reported, including 25 deaths, the Health Ministry said on Thursday 17th. Fourteen cases have been confirmed with laboratory tests.
On the 17th of May, a case of Ebola was confirmed in the nearby city of Mbandaka, 100 km North of Bikoro. Mbandaka is a city of 1.2 million, highly connected to other populations. The WHO has designated the national risk of Ebola as ‘very high’. The government of DRC is working closely with WHO, UNICEF and coordinating with other local and international humanitarian organisations to respond to the outbreak.
As part of the response WHO, MSF and the DRC Ministry of Health are rolling out a trial of an Ebola vaccine (rVSV–ZEBOV) in the area. This brief, prepared by Anthrologica summarises key socio-cultural issues related to the introduction of the vaccine. This rapid evidence brief conveys key considerations and immediate recommendations, particularly for community engagement.