The doctor who beat Ebola — and inspires other survivors to care for the sick

Maurice Kakule Mutsunga has started a motorcycle ambulance service and is working to dispel rumours about the virus.

Jul 12, 2019
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This story was supported by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

Beni, Democratic Republic of the Congo

At first, Maurice Kakule Mutsunga suspected that the woman had malaria or typhoid: she was feverish and fatigued, and had been admitted to the hospital in Mangina in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with terrible headaches and abdominal pain. Then blood began to drip from her nose.

The woman, who died from her illness, likely had Ebola. And Kakule, a doctor who treated her in early July 2018, soon developed similar symptoms — only a few weeks before the DRC government declared an outbreak of the virus. He’s now among the minority of people who have beaten Ebola during this outbreak.

Only about 620 of the more than 2,200 people who have contracted the virus have been cured, according to the DRC government. These survivors, who are protected from reinfection, are helping to curb the outbreak. They care for children in the throes of the disease, transport the sick to hospital, and fight fear and mistrust by telling their stories.

By: Amy Maxmen/Nature news

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