The Ebola crisis in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is worsening, and it poses a serious threat to the ongoing humanitarian response on which nearly 13 million people depend for lifesaving aid. As of May 27, 2019, over 1,832 confirmed cases of Ebola have been identified in eastern DRC, and there have been 1,193 confirmed deaths. Despite the rapid spread of new infections, substantial community resistance to the response remains a serious obstacle, as indicated by persistent reports of individuals refusing the vaccine and recurring attacks on treatment centers.
Mercy Corps has published a new analysis, which demonstrates how community mobilization should be a central element to help stop the spread of Ebola in DRC and neighboring countries, taking lessons from Mercy Corps Ebola response in Liberia in 2014-2015 that reached over half of the population in that country. Over a five-month period, Mercy Corps’ community mobilization programs led to substantial and rapid changes in behaviors and a deeper level of understanding about how to prevent the spread of Ebola.