As Didier Mwesha passed his one-year anniversary on the front lines of the Ebola response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the numbers were climbing still. As of mid-June 2019, there were some 2071 Ebola virus disease cases in the 12-month period of the tenth outbreak, with 1396 of them having passed away. And Uganda had just confirmed an outbreak at the shared border.
It was the tenth outbreak for its neighbour, but it was the closest that Ebola virus disease had come to Uganda since 2012.
When the first cases were reported in north-eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August 2018, only 200 km from their shared border, Uganda health authorities braced with concern.
The tenth epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officially began in August 2018. A year later, as of 10 September 2019, 3 091 cases had been confirmed, 2 074 of them had died, while 938 survived. The city of Goma, is highly vulnerable due to the huge population movement between the epidemic areas and Goma, with more than 5 000 travellers a day.
“I put my feet on the ground and wiggled my toes. It felt strange to touch the ground for the first time in weeks. Slowly, I stood up, holding the hand of the nurse. I held my swollen belly and smiled.” That was the moment Rachel Kahuko Kavugho began to let herself believe that she might survive Ebola “and that the baby in my belly might get to live”.