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Living Ebola-free in the Democratic Republic of Congo

How Tearfund has helped communities in the fight against this deadly disease.

Written by Andrew Horton | 07 Jan 2021

A woman with her young child in the DRC.

A woman and her young child in the DRC. (Image credit: Sean Hawkey/ Corus International)

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is currently Ebola-free. But the nation – particularly the east of the country – has faced a huge battle against the disease, with devastating loss of life as well as the negative impact on schools and businesses. Tearfund and our partners were at the frontline of this fight, amid the challenges of conflict and the coronavirus pandemic.

In North Kivu and the Ituri provinces, a deadly outbreak began in August 2018. It was declared over on 25 June 2020. But by that point there had been 2,287 deaths (2,134 confirmed cases and 153 probable).

A separate, smaller outbreak in the western province of Équateur saw 55 deaths, but thankfully was declared over on 18 November 2020.

Good practices

To prevent the spread of Ebola, a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development and implemented by Tearfund in partnership with IMA World Health (IMA), began in the North Kivu and the Ituri provinces. It helped communities access clean drinking water by digging wells and installing pumps and taps. These pumping systems are solar powered, meaning they’re more efficient and sustainable.

In schools and places of worship (churches and mosques), Tearfund installed water-harvesting tools to collect rainwater, set up handwashing stations and promoted good hygiene practices.

To prevent Ebola from spreading, washing hands regularly with clean water is key. It also reduces other waterborne diseases such as cholera.

The project has meant at least 15,000 people now have access to drinking water, as well as being trained in how to prevent the spread of Ebola.

‘Praise God for how he has helped us to prevent many more people from contracting Ebola, through this project,’ shares Hebdavi Muhindo, who leads Tearfund’s work in the DRC. ‘But please continue to pray for the DRC, which still faces violence, coronavirus and the threat of Ebola returning.’

Please pray

    • Lift up in prayer people who have lost loved ones during the devastating Ebola outbreaks in the DRC. May they be comforted in their time of grieving.

    • Thank God for the Tearfund/IMA partnership and how it’s successfully helped so many people be free from Ebola.

    • Pray for the Tearfund team and our partners in the DRC, who are working in a very challenging context. May they be protected and encouraged, and know God’s hand over them.

Written by

Written by  Andrew Horton

Andrew is Online News and Film Editor for Tearfund. This involves finding and writing up inspiring articles for the website, and capturing compelling stories on video.

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