Health

Two Red Cross volunteers attacked in Congo over burial of Ebola victims

As authorities and aid workers in Democratic Republic of Congo desperately try to contain the latest outbreak of the Ebola disease, villagers are attacking medics.

Two Red Cross volunteers were seriously injured in the attack that happened in a community in the North Kivu area of the country where about 106 people have died after the first cases were reported in August.

The Red Cross said its workers have faced numerous incidents of anger from people resisting the burials of those who have died from the disease.

Health authorities say that it is necessary to properly bury those who died from Ebola as the corpses are still contagious.

But according to the Congolese tradition, mourners will often hug and touch the bodies of loved ones when they are laid to rest.

Dr Fatoumata Nafo-Traoré, the Red Cross regional director for Africa, said: “This is an awful reminder of the dangers that these volunteers and dignified burials teams face.

“While we categorically denounce the attack on our colleagues, we understand the fear and frustration that many communities in North Kivu feel right now.

“People are scared and there are many rumours circulating that only serve to heighten the sense of fear and distrust.”

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