DRC journalist raising awareness about Ebola murdered

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A Congolese journalist who had been raising awareness about the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been killed at his home, reports BBC News. The army said unidentified attackers raided Papy Mumbere Mahamba’s home in Lwebma, in the north-eastern province of Ituri, killing him, wounding his wife and burning their house down.

The report says the DRC is experiencing the world’s second-worst Ebola epidemic on record and people working to stop the virus are often targeted. Over the past year there have been dozens of attacks on health centres and on people working to stop Ebola and the violence is thought to be fuelled by the belief among many people that the virus is not real, which can lead to mistrust of those working in the sector.

The report says Mahamba had just hosted an Ebola awareness programme on a community radio station when the attack took place. Professor Steve Ahuka, national co-ordinator of the fight against Ebola, confirmed the reports from the army that a “community worker” involved in the fight against Ebola had been killed. A journalist at Radio Lwemba, the local radio station where he worked, also confirmed the details. Jacques Kamwina said that Mahamba had been stabbed to death.

The report says according to the World Health Organisation, the DRC declared an Ebola epidemic in August 2018. More than 2,000 lives have been lost amid a total of 3,000 confirmed infections. The outbreak is affecting the DRC’s North Kivu, South Kivu and Ituri provinces.

BBC News report

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