BATTLING EBOLA

Since August 2018, MSF teams have been aiding the fight against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is our response in pictures.

A health worker is seen putting on his personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the red zone of an MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Bunia, DRC. © John Wessels/MSF

Since August 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been battling a deadly outbreak of Ebola.

Transmitted via contact with infected animals and humans, the virus can kill up to 90 percent of people who catch it and causes terror among affected communities.

A total of 2276 people have died in the current Ebola outbreak in northeastern DRC, making it the second deadliest in history after the outbreak in West Africa in 2014-16.

On 1 August 2018, MSF began responding to the outbreak, sending teams and supplies to North Kivu province, a region plagued by violence and instability.

The disease soon spread to neighbouring provinces and on 17 July 2019, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak "a public health emergency of international concern".

Since then, our teams have been working to prevent and treat Ebola, while also supporting local health centres and tackling other diseases, such as malaria.

We look at MSF's Ebola response in pictures as the outbreak continues, with a new case confirmed in the city of Beni on 10 April 2020.

7 August 2018: One of the first photos to emerge from MSF's Ebola response in northeastern DRC. With the Ministry of Health's permission, our teams have started to set up treatment centres in Mangina, the epicentre of the outbreak, and Beni. They are also helping local health centres with infection prevention and control to limit the spread of the disease and ensure continuity of care for the local population. © Karin Huster/MSF

7 August 2018: One of the first photos to emerge from MSF's Ebola response in northeastern DRC. With the Ministry of Health's permission, our teams have started to set up treatment centres in Mangina, the epicentre of the outbreak, and Beni. They are also helping local health centres with infection prevention and control to limit the spread of the disease and ensure continuity of care for the local population. © Karin Huster/MSF

7 August 2018: One of the first photos to emerge from MSF's Ebola response in northeastern DRC. With the Ministry of Health's permission, our teams have started to set up treatment centres in Mangina, the epicentre of the outbreak, and Beni. They are also helping local health centres with infection prevention and control to limit the spread of the disease and ensure continuity of care for the local population. © Karin Huster/MSF

21 September 2018: Kambale Mbahitsia is officially cured. He stands at the exit of the Ebola treatment centre in Mangina with his certificate. It’s a joyful day for Kambale but also sad; he lost his wife and two children to Ebola. © Carl Theunis/MSF

21 September 2018: Kambale Mbahitsia is officially cured. He stands at the exit of the Ebola treatment centre in Mangina with his certificate. It’s a joyful day for Kambale but also sad; he lost his wife and two children to Ebola. © Carl Theunis/MSF

21 September 2018: Kambale Mbahitsia is officially cured. He stands at the exit of the Ebola treatment centre in Mangina with his certificate. It’s a joyful day for Kambale but also sad; he lost his wife and two children to Ebola. © Carl Theunis/MSF

21 September 2018: As a member of the MSF Congo emergency team, Dr. Théo has been involved in countless emergency responses in the most remote areas of DRC. He has seen all kind of epidemics: measles, cholera, yellow fever. But this is his first Ebola intervention. “It’s interesting that after all these years of experience, I’m all of a sudden a bit of a rookie again. But I’m learning so much here," he says.

21 September 2018: As a member of the MSF Congo emergency team, Dr. Théo has been involved in countless emergency responses in the most remote areas of DRC. He has seen all kind of epidemics: measles, cholera, yellow fever. But this is his first Ebola intervention. “It’s interesting that after all these years of experience, I’m all of a sudden a bit of a rookie again. But I’m learning so much here," he says.

21 September 2018: As a member of the MSF Congo emergency team, Dr. Théo has been involved in countless emergency responses in the most remote areas of DRC. He has seen all kind of epidemics: measles, cholera, yellow fever. But this is his first Ebola intervention. “It’s interesting that after all these years of experience, I’m all of a sudden a bit of a rookie again. But I’m learning so much here," he says.

4 November 2018: Three months into the Ebola outbreak in northeastern DRC, the epicentre has moved from the small village of Mangina to the bigger town of Beni, with cases also reported in the city of Butembo. Here, MSF Ebola expert Luis Encinas holds a seven-year-old boy infected with Ebola inside the MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Butembo. © John Wessels/MSF

4 November 2018: Three months into the Ebola outbreak in northeastern DRC, the epicentre has moved from the small village of Mangina to the bigger town of Beni, with cases also reported in the city of Butembo. Here, MSF Ebola expert Luis Encinas holds a seven-year-old boy infected with Ebola inside the MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Butembo. © John Wessels/MSF

4 November 2018: Three months into the Ebola outbreak in northeastern DRC, the epicentre has moved from the small village of Mangina to the bigger town of Beni, with cases also reported in the city of Butembo. Here, MSF Ebola expert Luis Encinas holds a seven-year-old boy infected with Ebola inside the MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Butembo. © John Wessels/MSF

4 November 2018: Health workers move a patient from the MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Butembo to a local hospital after he was cleared of having Ebola. © John Wessels/MSF

4 November 2018: Health workers move a patient from the MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Butembo to a local hospital after he was cleared of having Ebola. © John Wessels/MSF

4 November 2018: Health workers move a patient from the MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Butembo to a local hospital after he was cleared of having Ebola. © John Wessels/MSF

7 November 2018: Health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) perform medical checks on an unconfirmed Ebola patient inside the newly built, MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Bunia. © John Wessels/MSF

7 November 2018: Health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) perform medical checks on an unconfirmed Ebola patient inside the newly built, MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Bunia. © John Wessels/MSF

7 November 2018: Health workers wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) perform medical checks on an unconfirmed Ebola patient inside the newly built, MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre in Bunia. © John Wessels/MSF

22 November 2018: A local washer at the Ebola treatment centre in Butembo, where MSF is increasing capacity as the number of Ebola cases continues to rise. The outbreak has now spread to the city and surrounding areas. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: A local washer at the Ebola treatment centre in Butembo, where MSF is increasing capacity as the number of Ebola cases continues to rise. The outbreak has now spread to the city and surrounding areas. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: A local washer at the Ebola treatment centre in Butembo, where MSF is increasing capacity as the number of Ebola cases continues to rise. The outbreak has now spread to the city and surrounding areas. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Health workers put on their personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the high risk or red zone of the Ebola treatment centre. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Health workers put on their personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the high risk or red zone of the Ebola treatment centre. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Health workers put on their personal protective equipment (PPE) before entering the high risk or red zone of the Ebola treatment centre. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: A health worker waits for medicines to be delivered via a slide that links the safe and high risk zones of the Ebola treatment centre in Butembo. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: A health worker waits for medicines to be delivered via a slide that links the safe and high risk zones of the Ebola treatment centre in Butembo. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: A health worker waits for medicines to be delivered via a slide that links the safe and high risk zones of the Ebola treatment centre in Butembo. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Health workers write their names on their personal protective equipment (PPE) to help identify each other and create a personal connection with patients. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Health workers write their names on their personal protective equipment (PPE) to help identify each other and forge a personal connection with patients. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Health workers write their names on their personal protective equipment (PPE) to help identify each other and forge a personal connection with patients. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Sadly, the majority of patients do not survive Ebola. Health workers place a body bag in a coffin at the Butembo Ebola treatment centre. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Sadly, the majority of patients do not survive Ebola. Health workers place a body bag in a coffin at the Butembo Ebola treatment centre. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

22 November 2018: Sadly, the majority of patients do not survive Ebola. Health workers place a body bag in a coffin at the Butembo Ebola treatment centre. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: The Kalunguta community in North Kivu province is facing an outbreak of Ebola for the first time. Awareness-raising and information activities are essential to win the trust of the population and make them understand the challenges of rapid care. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: The Kalunguta community in North Kivu province is facing an outbreak of Ebola for the first time. Awareness-raising and information activities are essential to win the trust of the population and make them understand the challenges of rapid care. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: The Kalunguta community in North Kivu province is facing an outbreak of Ebola for the first time. Awareness-raising and information activities are essential to win the trust of the population and make them understand the challenges of rapid care. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018:  Decontamination is an essential step in controlling an Ebola outbreak. A laboratory technician observes hygienists as they disinfect laboratory equipment at a health centre in Kalunguta health zone, North Kivu. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: Decontamination is an essential step in controlling an Ebola outbreak. A laboratory technician observes hygienists as they disinfect laboratory equipment at a health centre in Kalunguta health zone, North Kivu. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: Decontamination is an essential step in controlling an Ebola outbreak. A laboratory technician observes hygienists as they disinfect laboratory equipment at a health centre in Kalunguta health zone, North Kivu. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: After their decontamination work and a visit to a risk area, hygienists are in turn decontaminated with chlorine. Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids and the virus must be destroyed wherever a confirmed patient has passed. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: After their decontamination work and a visit to a risk area, hygienists are in turn decontaminated with chlorine. Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids and the virus must be destroyed wherever a confirmed patient has passed. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: After their decontamination work and a visit to a risk area, hygienists are in turn decontaminated with chlorine. Ebola is transmitted by bodily fluids and the virus must be destroyed wherever a confirmed patient has passed. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: All infected items, along with any equipment that cannot be reused, are burned. This is the most effective way to avoid spreading the virus. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: All infected items, along with any equipment that cannot be reused, are burned. This is the most effective way to avoid spreading the virus. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

24 November 2018: All infected items, along with any equipment that cannot be reused, are burned. This is the most effective way to avoid spreading the virus. © Alexis Huguet/MSF

19 June 2019: An Ebola survivor - known as a "garde-malades" - cares for a patient suspected of having Ebola at the transit centre supported by MSF in Bunia. Once they have recovered from Ebola, survivors are immune to the disease and can go into a high risk zone with lighter protection than full PPE. ©  Pablo Garrigos/MSF

19 June 2019: An Ebola survivor - known as a "garde-malades" - cares for a patient suspected of having Ebola at the transit centre supported by MSF in Bunia. Once they have recovered from Ebola, survivors are immune to the disease and can go into a high risk zone with lighter protection than full PPE. © Pablo Garrigos/MSF

19 June 2019: An Ebola survivor - known as a "garde-malades" - cares for a patient suspected of having Ebola at the transit centre supported by MSF in Bunia. Once they have recovered from Ebola, survivors are immune to the disease and can go into a high risk zone with lighter protection than full PPE. © Pablo Garrigos/MSF

19 June 2019: Medical and hygienist staff put on PPE before entering the high risk zone of the Ebola transit centre in Bunia. This is where people with suspected Ebola infections await their test results. © Pablo Garrigos/MSF

19 June 2019: Medical and hygienist staff put on PPE before entering the high risk zone of the Ebola transit centre in Bunia. This is where people with suspected Ebola infections await their test results. © Pablo Garrigos/MSF

19 June 2019: Medical and hygienist staff put on PPE before entering the high risk zone of the Ebola transit centre in Bunia. This is where people with suspected Ebola infections await their test results. © Pablo Garrigos/MSF

20 September 2019: An Ebola vaccination team at the MSF-supported health centre of Kanzulinzuli in Beni. The North Kivu city is one of the recurring hot spots of the Ebola epidemic. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

20 September 2019: An Ebola vaccination team at the MSF-supported health centre of Kanzulinzuli in Beni. The North Kivu city is one of the recurring hot spots of the Ebola epidemic. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

20 September 2019: An Ebola vaccination team at the MSF-supported health centre of Kanzulinzuli in Beni. The North Kivu city is one of the recurring hot spots of the Ebola epidemic. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

20 September 2019: Joseph MbokaniI Kambale (right), a sensitising agent with the national Ebola response, answers questions from families waiting to receive the Ebola vaccine. Fear and misconceptions keep many eligible people from getting immunised against the virus. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

20 September 2019: Joseph MbokaniI Kambale (right), a sensitising agent with the national Ebola response, answers questions from families waiting to receive the Ebola vaccine. Fear and misconceptions keep many eligible people from getting immunised against the virus. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

20 September 2019: Joseph MbokaniI Kambale (right), a sensitising agent with the national Ebola response, answers questions from families waiting to receive the Ebola vaccine. Fear and misconceptions keep many eligible people from getting immunised against the virus. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

25 September 2019: Water, sanitation and hygiene specialist, Isai Sanou, inspects the rainwater collection system MSF installed at the Metale Health Centre in Mabalako, a rural health zone in North Kivu. With many doctors and health workers working in the internationally-funded Ebola response, health centres like Metale have been left short of staff and financial support. MSF is working with four facilities to improve access to primary healthcare and reduce the risk of infection in the active Ebola transmission zone. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

25 September 2019: Water, sanitation and hygiene specialist, Isai Sanou, inspects the rainwater collection system MSF installed at the Metale Health Centre in Mabalako, a rural health zone in North Kivu. With many doctors and health workers working in the internationally-funded Ebola response, health centres like Metale have been left short of staff and financial support. MSF is working with four facilities to improve access to primary healthcare and reduce the risk of infection in the active Ebola transmission zone. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

25 September 2019: Water, sanitation and hygiene specialist, Isai Sanou, inspects the rainwater collection system MSF installed at the Metale Health Centre in Mabalako, a rural health zone in North Kivu. With many doctors and health workers working in the internationally-funded Ebola response, health centres like Metale have been left short of staff and financial support. MSF is working with four facilities to improve access to primary healthcare and reduce the risk of infection in the active Ebola transmission zone. © Samuel Sieber/MSF

26 March 2020: The World Health Organization (WHO) released its latest Ebola virus disease update, confirming no new cases of Ebola have been reported since 17 February 2020. This could mean the end of the outbreak is in sight. If no new cases are reported after 42 days - twice the maximum incubation for Ebola infections - the virus is no longer considered active in communities and the WHO can declare the outbreak over. © Carl Theunis/MSF

3 March 2020: The last Ebola patient in DRC is discharged from a treatment centre in Beni, with the 42-day countdown beginning on 2 March. If no new cases are reported after 42 days - twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola infections - the virus is no longer considered active and the World Health Organization can declare the outbreak over. Photo taken on 7 November 2018 at an ETC in Bunia. © Carl Theunis/MSF

3 March 2020: The last Ebola patient in DRC is discharged from a treatment centre in Beni, with the 42-day countdown beginning on 2 March. If no new cases are reported after 42 days - twice the maximum incubation period for Ebola infections - the virus is no longer considered active and the World Health Organization can declare the outbreak over. Photo taken on 7 November 2018 at an ETC in Bunia. © Carl Theunis/MSF