News on Ebola

14 October 2014 Sierra Leone's contact tracers work to curtail Ebola outbreak
As Ebola infections continue to escalate at an alarming rate in West Africa, UNFPA-trained contact tracers in Sierra Leone are playing a vital role in mitigating the public health crisis.
3 October 2014 Fear of health workers fuels Ebola crisis in Guinea
CONAKRY/NEW YORK – Panic over the Ebola outbreak in Guinea has inflamed distrust of health officials, impeding access to critical health services. UNFPA is reaching out to journalists and community leaders to dispel...
26 August 2014 Liberia's Ebola outbreak leaves pregnant women stranded
MONROVIA, Liberia – Ebola has devastated health systems in Liberia, where the outbreak appears to be intensifying. UNFPA is providing protective gear to health workers and safe delivery kits to health facilities,...

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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