News on Ebola

A woman and her baby rest at a UNFPA-supported health facility in Liberia. © UNFPA Liberia
11 May 2015 Now Ebola-free, Liberia’s maternal health needs take centre stage
MONROVIA, Liberia/UNITED NATIONS, New York –- Two days ago, Liberia was declared Ebola-free, following a tragic 13-month-long outbreak that saw the deaths of nearly 5,000 people. But while the outbreak is now officially...
Siah Tamba, an Ebola survivor, now works at the Ebola treatment unit in Sinje, Liberia. She lost her mother, sister and daughter to the illness.  © UNMEER/Martine Perret
3 February 2015 Ebola survivors facing stigma, unemployment, exclusion
MONROVIA, Liberia – After recovering from the near-death experience of an Ebola infection, survivors in Liberia are reporting that their ordeal is not yet over. Many say they are encountering hostility, exclusion and...
22 January 2015 Standing guard against Ebola’s return in Mali
BAMAKO, Mali – Four days ago, Mali became the third West African country declared to be Ebola-free after the deadly outbreak penetrated its borders late last year. Health workers are now standing watch at the country’s...

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Overview

A new outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus disease was reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo on 1 August 2018. Declared in North Kivu, one of the country’s most densely populated provinces, the current outbreak is the tenth to strike the country, but the first to occur in an active conflict zone.

Over 100 people have been infected within the past month, and 61 have died. Women and girls have been hit hardest, accounting for 58 per cent of the infected. As traditional caretakers for the sick, women are often at increased risk of exposure.

But Ebola's impact goes beyond those infected. Strained health systems have left many without access to life-saving services, including sexual and reproductive health care. Instability in the region is also impeding response efforts, presenting considerable risk to humanitarian teams mobilizing to stem the epidemic.

UNFPA is working with partners to prevent the spread of Ebola virus disease and ensure that sexual and reproductive health services remain available. Already, UNFPA has provided critical supplies – including 10,000 vaccination syringes – to strengthen control measures and fortify water, sanitation and hygiene services in health facilities and communities. UNFPA is also helping midwives exercise precaution when tending to mothers and their newborns.

Still, much remains to be done. During humanitarian emergencies, sexual and reproductive health needs can be overlooked – with staggering consequences. Pregnant women risk life-threatening complications in the absence of care, while women and young people become increasingly vulnerable to sexual violence and HIV infection.

A comprehensive response to the Ebola epidemic will include outreach that provides communities with essential information for preventing and controlling the disease. Meanwhile, UNFPA will continue to deliver life-saving health services to ensure women and young people are not left behind during this crisis.

Situation reports and resources