Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter


×
FILE - Healthcare workers carry the coffin of a baby believed to have died of Ebola, in Beni, North Kivu Province of Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 15, 2018. VOA

The charity Doctors Without Borders warns a climate of deepening mistrust and suspicion in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo is hampering efforts to bring an Ebola epidemic under control. The outbreak, which started, last year, has killed more than 500 people in North Kivu and Ituri provinces.

Doctors Without Borders, known by its French acronym MSF, has suspended its Ebola activities in Katwa and Butembo in North Kivu Province.


This follows attacks on two of its treatment centers last week. In the last month alone, the agency says more than 30 attacks and security incidents have taken place in this volatile area.

International MSF president Joanne Liu says the Ebola epidemic, the largest ever in DRC, is taking place amid growing political, social and economic grievances. She says many communities believe Ebola is being used as an excuse for political maneuvers.

Liu says the decision to exclude two areas — Beni and Butembo — from voting in the December presidential elections has only added to the suspicion that Ebola is being used as a political tool.


FILE – Demonstrators barricade a road during protests over their exclusion from the presidential election in Beni, Democratic Republic of Congo, Dec. 28, 2018. VOA

“The use of coercion adds fuel to this, using police to force people into complying with health measures is not only unethical, it is totally counterproductive,” she said. “The communities are not the enemy. Ebola is a common enemy.”

Latest reports from the World Health Organization put the number of Ebola cases in eastern Congo at 907, including 569 deaths.

Liu tells VOA the government is painting the Ebola epidemic as a security emergency. She says MSF worries about the disease being framed as an issue of public order.

ALSO READ: Good News! HIV Now Has A Cure Possible

“We think as physicians that it is an epidemic, an infectious disease issue and that we need to treat patients and not as an enemy of the nation,” she said. “People need to feel that we are with them and we want the best for their care. And, that they want to be in our center because they believe that is going to be the best way to fight Ebola.”

Liu says coercion must not be used as a way to track and treat patients, to enforce safe burials or decontaminate homes. She says communities must be treated with respect and understanding. She says patients must be treated as such, and not as some kind of biothreat. (VOA)


Popular

Unsplash

Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal.

"In India, to be born as a man is a crime, to question a woman is an atrocious crime, and this all because of those women who keep suppressing men in the name of feminism."

Feminism, a worldwide movement that started to establish, define and defend equal rights for women in all sections- economically, politically, and socially. India, being a patriarchal society gives a gender advantage to the men in the society thus, Indian feminists sought to fight against the culture-specific issue for women in India. Feminism itself is nothing but a simple movement that pursues equal rights for women (including transwomen) and against misogyny both external and internal. It states nowhere that women should get more wages than men, that women deserve more respect than men, that's pseudo-feminism.

Keep Reading Show less
wikimedia commons

Yakshi statue by Kanayi Kunjiraman at Malampuzha garden, Kerala

Kerala is a land of many good things. It has an abundance of nature, culture, art, and food. It is also a place of legend and myth, and is known for its popular folklore, the legend of Yakshi. This is not a popular tale outside the state, but it is common knowledge for travellers, especially those who fare through forests at night.

The legend of the yakshi is believed to be India's equivalent of the Romanian Dracula, except of course, the Yakshi is a female. Many Malayalis believe that the Yakshi wears a white saree and had long hair. She has a particular fragrance, which is believed to be the fragrance of the Indian devil-tree flowers. She seduces travellers with her beauty, and kills them brutally.

Keep Reading Show less
Pinterest

Ancient India not only made mentions of homosexuality but accepted it as well.


The LGBTQ+ acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and others. In India LGBTQ+ community also include a specific social group, part religious cult, and part caste: the Hijras. They are culturally defined either as "neither men nor women" or as men who become women by adopting women's dress and behavior. Section 377 of the India Penal code that criminalized all sexual acts "against the order of nature" i.e. engaging in oral sex or anal sex along with other homosexual activities were against the law, ripping homosexual people off of their basic human rights. Thus, the Indian Supreme Court ruled a portion of Section 377 unconstitutional on 6th September 2018.

Keep reading... Show less