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FILE - Police shelter behind a hospital sign as they guard a hospital in Butembo, Congo, April 20, 2019, after militia members attacked an Ebola treatment center in the city’s Katwa district overnight. VOA

The World Health Organization warned Friday that it may not be possible to contain Ebola to the two affected provinces in eastern Congo if violent attacks on health teams continue.

The ominous statement comes amid escalating violence nine months after the outbreak began, crippling efforts to identify suspected cases in the community and vaccinate those most at risk. Earlier this week, Mai-Mai militia fighters attacked the town of Butembo at the epicenter of the crisis.


Friday’s update also noted that a burial team had been “violently attacked” after they interred an Ebola victim in the town of Katwa. The corpses of victims are highly contagious, requiring special precautions to ensure the disease is not transmitted at funerals. Nearly five days of Ebola response activities were halted in Butembo and surrounding areas recently because of the insecurity, WHO said.


FILE – Doctors and health workers march in the Eastern Congo town of Butembo on April 24, 2019, after attackers shot and killed an epidemiologist from Cameroon who was working for the World Health Organization. Doctors at the epicenter of Congo’s Ebola crisis have threatened to go on strike indefinitely if health workers are attacked again. VOA

“The ongoing violent attacks sow fear, perpetuate mistrust, and further compound the multitude of challenges already faced by frontline health care workers,” it said. “Without commitment from all groups to cease these attacks, it is unlikely that this (Ebola) outbreak can remain successfully contained in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.”

The outbreak, which has killed 1,069 people, marks the first time that Ebola has struck inside a conflict zone. Eastern Congo has suffered decades of violence perpetrated by warring rebel groups and militias awash in arms.

The affected area, though, is also close to Congo’s borders with Uganda and Rwanda, and health officials in both countries have been preparing in case someone sick with Ebola should bring the disease across international borders.

WHO efforts

WHO and others have previously said that the risk of that happening was low. The difficulties in accessing some of the hardest hit areas in Congo, though, means that health workers are struggling to isolate the sick, and track down and isolate their caregivers and family members.


An Ebola health worker is seen at a treatment center in Beni, Eastern Congo, April, 16, 2019. The World Health Organization is warning it may not be possible to contain Ebola to the two affected provinces in eastern Congo if violent attacks on health teams continue. VOA

About half of those dying remained in their homes instead of seeking treatment at Ebola health centers, giving the virus an opportunity to spread to those in physical contact with victims.

ALSO READ: WHO Warns: DRC’s Ebola Outbreak Situation Could Spiral Out Of Control

Amid the rising number of cases, WHO said Friday that an advisory group was now recommending that those at high risk of contracting Ebola be given a vaccine dose of 0.5mL of vaccine instead of 1mL. The group is proposing that the vaccine be given more widely, including to those living in communities where there have been recent Ebola cases.

In addition to the risks posed by militias there also has been widespread community mistrust in eastern Congo, a byproduct of years of conflict and grievances with the government. WHO said it was aiming to have the majority vaccine teams comprised of local health workers by the end of the month in an effort to reduce tensions. (VOA)


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Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal.

Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".

Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.

"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.

"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)


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A health worker counts antiretroviral drug tablets for a patient at The AIDS Support Organization (TASO) in the capital Kampala, Uganda, July 12, 2012.

KAMPALA, UGANDA — Uganda has kickstarted a trial for the injectable HIV drugs cabotegravir and rilpivirine. Researchers and those living with HIV say the trial will likely end pill fatigue, fight stigma, improve adherence and ensure patients get the right dosage.

The two drugs have been in use as tablets. The World Health Organization last year licensed their use as injectables.

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Photo by shankar kandregula on Unsplash

Prepare for the special celebrations this festive season with the ultimate beauty well-being checklist which will not only make you look good on the outside but also shine from the inside.

By N. Lothungbeni Humtsoe

After the long dull period of the pandemic and lockdowns, one must be looking forward to the festival season with new excitement and zest. So obviously you want to look and feel your best. Beauty regimes are not just skin deep, they de-stress and uplift your spirits. Prepare for the special celebrations this festive season with the ultimate beauty well-being checklist which will not only make you look good on the outside but also shine from the inside.

Rachit Gupta, Director, OxyGlow Cosmetics Pvt. Ltd, said, "Festivals are a time to shine bright and invest in a proper beauty well-being regime from head to toe. The key is to know what ingredients suit you and choose the brand which ensures good quality products. Especially in the day and time when there is so much stress, pollution, sun damage, etc. One cannot go wrong with the beauty product that they are using. The right products can unleash one's true beauty and make them refreshed to be able to enjoy the festivities fully."

* Headturner -- How your hair looks to make a lot of difference to your complete look. But do not forget a proper hair care regime can relax and clear your mind. Start with a good oil massage which provides nourishment to the hair and scalp. It throws the stress right out. Coconut oil, Amla oil, Argan oil and Red onion oil are especially recommended. Special occasions call for special treatment, after a good hair wash deep condition your hair with a mask. A Keratin hair mask works wonders by putting life into your hair. Finish up with a vitamin-enriched serum for lustrous hair.

A good hair regime protects and strengthens the hair leaving it nourished and rejuvenated How your hair looks to make a lot of difference to your complete look. | Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

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