‘The world has never seen anything like this’: WHO chief on battling Ebola in a war zone

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus talks about fighting the outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo amid attacks on health workers.

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May 13, 2019
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The head of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is distraught. The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) continues to worsen, and his front-line responders are under attack.

On 4 May, Ghebreyesus will attend the funeral of a 41-year old epidemiologist, Richard Mouzoko, who was shot dead in the city of Butembo on 19 April by men who reportedly shouted, “Ebola doesn’t exist!” Dozens of other Ebola responders have been assaulted in recent months in the northeastern DRC — a region that has been wracked by conflict for decades.

Since the outbreak started nine months ago, nearly 1,000 people have died from Ebola, and the rate of new infections is climbing. Nature spoke with Ghebreyesus shortly after he returned from a visit to Butembo. The conversation has been edited for length and clarity.

By: Amy Maxmen/Nature News

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