716 Days

The long battle to end the DRC’s deadliest Ebola outbreak

On August 1, 2018, an outbreak of Ebola was declared in the North Kivu and Ituri provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) that grew to become the second-largest ever — exceeded in size only by the 2014 outbreak in West Africa. It wasn’t until June 25, 2020 — and nearly 3,500 cases later, leading to 2,287 deaths — that the outbreak in the east would be officially declared over by the World Health Organization (WHO).

August 2018

On August 1, just days after an outbreak in the northwest of the country had officially been declared over, the WHO announces the presence of a cluster of Ebola cases in the North Kivu province of the DRC, an area in the east where conflict is common and widespread. In response, International Medical Corps teams begin Ebola prevention, monitoring and surveillance activities, drawing on our extensive experience responding to the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic, as well as to the outbreak we’d just wrapped up.

September 2018

October 2018

Two health workers are shot and killed by Congolese rebels on the outskirts of Butembo, as case numbers continue to rise amid an unstable climate.

November 2018

December 2018

January 2019

We start 2019 with great news from our ETC in Mangina, in North Kivu province.

February 2019

Our screening and referral units have now screened more than 600,000 for the virus.

March 2019

April 2019

May 2019

Global news outlets start covering the outbreak as confirmed cases pass the 1,500 mark.

June 2019

July 2019

July starts positively, as the number of patients we have cured at our ETC passes 100.

August 2019

We pass two landmarks in our response, curing 150 people at our ETC and providing more than 1 million screenings at our SRU’s.

September 2019

October 2019

In response to a case of Ebola being reported in a town near the South Sudan border, we start Ebola awareness-raising activities in South Sudan, using dance and radio shows to engage with community members.

November 2019

December 2019

We’re featured in a PBS account of the realities of fighting Ebola in a conflict zone.

February 2020

February starts well with a successful trial by our Ebola research team.

March 2020

We build 23 new SRUs along the DRC’s eastern border.

April 2020

June 2020

Health officials in the DRC are alarmed in early June, as four people die from Ebola in Équateur Province, about 750 miles away from the ongoing outbreak in the east.

International Medical Corps relieves the suffering of those impacted by conflict, natural disaster and disease by delivering medical relief and training.

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