Attackers set fire to an Ebola treatment centre run by Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) late on Sunday, forcing staff to evacuate patients, the charity said. There were no immediate details on the identity or motive of the people who torched the centre in the district of Katwa, atthe heart of the country’s worst outbreak of the deadly disease.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) has said aid workers face mistrust in some areas, fueled by false rumours about treatments and preference for traditional medicine. “As a result of the burning of the building, it is no longer possible to care for patients there,” MSF said on Twitter on Monday.
None of the patients or staff
Saddened to hear about attack on @MSF #Ebola clinic in Katwa, #DRC. Very concerning reports that someone died. Attacks like this could undo the progress we have made. Despite this setback, we will keep working with the government, partners & communities to end this outbreak. pic.twitter.com/79EAvsmN7y
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) February 25, 2019
None of the patients or staff were harmed, it added. The outbreak has killed 546 people since July, according to the Congolese health ministry.
Most of the cases since the start of the year have been in Katwa, which is close to the border with Uganda. Three volunteers for the Congolese Red Cross were attacked as they helped with the burial of an Ebola victim in eastern Congo in October. Two months later, political protesters ran sacked a nearby Ebola isolation centre