Japan Supports Ebola Response in DR Congo: UN Migration Agency

Humanitarian Emergencies, Migration Health

Democratic Republic of the Congo - Seventeen cases of Ebola (12 suspected, three probable and two confirmed) have recently been reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to the World Health Organization.  So far, four people have died of the disease. The outbreak currently remains confined to the Likati Health Zone, where the Congolese Minister of Public Health was officially notified of the outbreak on 11 May 2017.

The Government of Japan and the UN Migration Agency (IOM) are supporting the Government of the DRC in combatting the current Ebola outbreak, by providing funding and technical support to better monitor mobility patterns and population flows at borders. 

“Although the DRC has experienced and managed a number of Ebola outbreaks in the past, control measures must be taken to minimise risks," said Jean-Philippe Chauzy, IOM Chief of Mission in the DRC. "These include monitoring mobility patterns and population flows, identifying areas where populations gather and ensuring that strategic sites, such as affected health zones and border crossings, have health screening and hand washing facilities, and that activities communicating about risks of Ebola are carried out." 

This funding will allow IOM to increase its cooperation with the DRC’s Ministry of Health and the National Programme of Hygiene at Borders (PNHF) to carry out three levels of population mobility mapping in the affected areas and border sites. 

IOM and its partners will also identify points with high population movements through a participatory mapping approach, and monitor the population flows as well as the health screenings. 

In order to prevent the virus spreading to neighbouring Central African Republic, IOM will also support efforts to strengthen cross-border collaboration and preparedness in border areas. 

IOM’s response in the DRC draws on the Organization’s experience and expertise in addressing public health emergencies from the angle of migration and human mobility. Its activities contribute to the National Ebola Response Contingency Plan.

Over the past year, IOM has been rolling out population mobility mapping in the DRC to quantify population movements and identify sites vulnerable to public health threats. A total of 145 Ministry of Health officials were also trained and deployed at border posts as part of the response to a recent yellow fever outbreak.

The Japanese funding will also allow IOM to expand its training for health personnel deployed at border posts, and to carry out population mobility mapping to help tackle the current Ebola outbreak.

For further information, please contact Aki Yoshino at IOM DRC, Tel: +243 829 715 652, Email: ayoshino@iom.int

  • IOM staff map out ebola response in DRC. Photo: IOM