Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) have budgeted more than 100 million USD to fight the Ebola Virus outbreak in the eastern portion of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). However, that amount may not be enough if violence in North Kivu province — which is the epicenter of the outbreak — continues to hinder the efforts of medical workers.
According to Reuters, a local militia attacked a group of aid workers over the weekend and killed 14. The attackers also took several civilians hostage. The frequency of attacks has the Congolese military on high alert, and according to a report from Foreign Policy, the militia groups have transformed the region into a “war zone.”
“When we arrived at the airport we noticed that the area is heavily militarized,” said ALIMA (The Alliance For International Medical Action) physician Dr. Marie Claire Kolie while speaking to the Associated Press. “Personally it scared me a little, I must say. But… we can’t just leave these people.”
Dr. Kolie’s fears might be more than just paranoia. According to a report from Time, medical workers in North Kivu are being attacked “three or four times a week on average.”