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Three Congolese doctors arrested in connection with World Health Organization official's death

13 August 2019

The epidemic has been declared a public health emergency of worldwide concern by the World Health Organization.

The two countries were committed to implementing preventive mechanisms to contain Ebola and secure cross-border flows in order to reduce the risk of the spread of the disease, said a joint communique issued after the meeting held in northwestern Rwanda's Rubavu district, which borders the eastern DRC city of Goma.

The arrested doctors had been working to try to stem the epidemic in North Kivu province when a Cameroonian doctor, Richard Kiboung, was shot dead in April at a hospital in Butembo city, the prosecutor, Jean-Baptiste Kumbu told dpa. He was one of few medics deployed to the Congo to help victims against the spread of the virus.

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He said militiamen involved in attacking treatment centres, including Butembo hospital, had under interrogation implicated four doctors in planning the raids.

"He would regularly spend 15 to 20 days a month working among isolated communities in his home country, Cameroon, far from his wife and 4 children", the World Health Organization added.

The current outbreak in eastern DR Congo began in August a year ago and is the biggest of the 10 to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.

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In a statement on Friday, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said the Philippine government is closely monitoring the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in the DRC.

The year-long outbreak in the eastern DRC has killed almost 2 000 people to date.

Roughly 200 health facilities have since been attacked in the Congo this year, and 54 people remain detained in connection to such attacks on medical centers.

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Three Congolese doctors arrested in connection with World Health Organization official's death