WHO says Ebola patient may have travelled to Rwanda


The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday withdrew a report that said an Ebola patient may have entered Rwanda while infected with the disease, acknowledging the possibility that the virus could spread into the country for the first time.

The report was originally written by Uganda’s Health Ministry and published as a routine update on the WHO’s Africa office website. It detailed the case of a Congolese fishmonger who died from Ebola after travelling to Uganda and vomiting several times. The report also said the woman had travelled to the busy city of Goma in the DRC and crossed into neighbouring Rwanda while infected with the disease.

WHO withdraws report

According to a statement from WHO on Thursday, the organisation confirmed two reports had been removed from its website. It said they had been published without the knowledge of WHO headquarters and the information contained in the reports had not been verified.

“Two situation reports… have erroneously included unverified information,” the statement said.

However, the statement didn’t confirm which pieces of information in the reports were unverified, including the possibility that the infected fishmonger may have travelled to Rwanda.

The report also said that health workers are finding it difficult to track down people the woman may have come into contact with – many of whom refuse to cooperate. The report says many people believe the woman dies from witchcraft or an abortion, providing yet another example of local mistrust in health officials throughout the battle against Ebola.

Featured image: By WHO – Open Clip Arthttp://www.who.int/about/licensing/emblem/en/, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=437462

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.