Community engagement workers are on the frontline of the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Hundreds of “récos” - relais communautaires or contact tracers - are on the ground, searching for people who have come in contact with Ebola patients, explaining the need for vaccination and infection prevention and control. Working in a community where long-standing conflict has undermined trust makes their work incredibly challenging but also fundamental to the response.
The European Union is committed to the fight against the current outbreak of Ebola in DRC’s North Kivu province. EU support includes technical expertise, a humanitarian air service, research funding and humanitarian assistance. Working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and national authorities, the EU’s funding enables humanitarian partners to improve surveillance and the capacity to trace victims of Ebola, especially early cases. It also covers communication with affected communities on risks and how to prevent the spread of the disease including psycho-social support and preparedness for safe and dignified burials.
Story and images by Dalia Lourenco, World Health Organisation.