Let's Make a Deal with Militias

When Ebola breaks out in a conflict zone, health workers can't do their jobs—and neither a promising vaccine. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Ebola fight is also up against militias who, perpetually at war with each other, are now targeting clinics. 

The response’s worst enemy: “It's ignorance”—and attendant violence, says Congolese epidemiologist Jean-Christophe Shako, who’s leading the charge in Butembo, the outbreak’s epicenter.

Sitting down with militia leaders, Shako finds relentless disbelief in Ebola, jealousy over health workers’ perceived salaries, and demands for jobs. Despite discussions, attacks persist. But “Shako perseveres. He meets with rebel leaders. He negotiates. He tries to explain.”

Spiegel


 

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