The Ebola crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s war-shattered North Kivu province is straining the revamped World Health Organization. Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has been pleading for support as more than 1,000 people have already died, and Ebola responders are assaulted and attacked. Most of WHO’s responders in North Kivu are African health workers, researchers and logisticians.
The crisis in the DRC is in marked contrast to the recent Ebola crisis in West Africa, where international aid agencies poured into the region with $3 billion in donor funds. This time, the big agencies have stayed away from cities like Butembo in North Kivu, saying the risk was too great. The region has been torn apart by violence for more than 20 years. With that comes mistrust for authorities and aid workers.
Journalist Amy Maxmen, who covered the Ebola emergency in West Africa, is exploring the Ebola response in North Kivu in a series of reports for Nature.