New research brief on Ebola responses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

(24-05-2021) From Biolegitimacy to Antihumanitarianism: Understanding People's Resistance to Ebola Responses in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

The tenth outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) officially started in August 2018 in the eastern province of North Kivu, leading the World Health Organization (WHO), on July 17, 2019, to recognize it as a “public health emergency of international concern.” At its formal conclusion on June 26, 2020, the pandemic had resulted in 3,470 reported cases, including 2,287 deaths. Despite its devastating impact, local populations seemed to be skeptical about the existence of the new pandemic. Consequently, the outbreak saw substantial and often fierce local resistance to the medical response, including armed attacks on Ebola treatment centers (ETCs) and violence toward health centers, health workers, and caregivers, all of which seriously disrupted the response and restricted access to affected communities in several places. Inspired by the belief that Ebola was invented by Wazungu (NGOs or politicians), these attacks and other forms of resistance were carried out by various actors, including armed groups, customary chiefs, state agents, health-care workers, and patients and their families. 

Read the research brief by Aymar Nyenyezi Bisoka, Koen Vlassenroot, and Lucien Ramazani.