From the tiniest patient, to building strategies, community plays pivotal roles in Ebola outbreak

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A seven-week old infant, less than two weeks old  when admitted to a Katwa Ebola treatment center with her fatally ill mother, is the latest “miracle baby,” touted by the Democratic Republic of Congo’s health ministry as owing her survival to a team of recovered and now Ebola-immune patients who nurtured her back to health. Benefiting as well from one of the investigational treatments being made available during this outbreak, the child, Daniella was discharged from the unit over the weekend, living evidence of what science and community can accomplish together.

The same Sunday bulletin from the health ministry notes that following the security-driven departure of Médecins Sans Frontières from Butembo and Katwa in February, the response there lies in the hands of ministry, World Health Organization (UNICEF since March 2019. With lessons gleaned from the early MSF decentralized approach to Ebola treatment provision, the ministry now seeks to answer questions of security, health-worker protection, the role of traditional healers, and training for family members and other care-givers through ongoing dialogues with members of communities where those answers will be tested.

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