Tue, 21 May 2019

Death of doctor in DRC a tragic reminder of risks to health workers

By Jay Jackson, Illinois State News
21 Apr 2019, 09:21 GMT+10

KINSHASA, Democratic Republic of the Congo - A doctor fighting the Ebola outbreak for WHO, the World Health Organization, was killed during an attack on a hospital in the Central African country on Good Friday.

Dr Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung, an epidemiologist was working at Butembo University Hospital in the eastern city of Butembo when he was shot dead. Two other people were injured in the attack but are believed to be in a stable condition, according to a statement issued by WHO.

"I and all of WHO are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and brother Dr Mouzoko. He put himself on the frontline to save lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo" WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Friday. "We grieve with his family and friends at this very difficult time."

"This is a tragic reminder of the risks health workers take every day to protect the lives and health of others. We are outraged by this attack: health workers and health facilities must never be targets." 

The attack took place during a coordination meeting being held at the hospital at that time.

"We are assessing the security situation to ensure the safety of all patients, health workers and Ebola responders", said Dr Tedros. "At the same time, we remain committed to continue supporting the Ministry of Health of DRC to end this outbreak as quickly as possible."

UN chief António Guterres called on the Congolese authorities "to spare no effort in identifying and swiftly bringing to justice the perpetrators" of the attack, and extended his deepest condolences to the bereaved family, and a swift recovery to the injured.  

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