Wednesday, December 26, 2018

[U: See Comment] Year-End 2018 Update, On Congo's Latest Ebola Struggle: As Urban North Kivu Health Becomes... Political

Latest WHO statement (as of December 28, 2018) here.

To be sure, with over 50,000 people vaccinated, Merck and WHO have good reason to celebrate at year end, as efforts to contain the latest Beni and Butembo outbreaks are showing nice progress. But the epidemic also is infused. . . with the political, as the opposition party has campaigned (in part on a platform government reform spending, and thus) on local government doing more -- to help those most vulnerable to ebola infection.

In a fire last week that is at best suspicious, over a million of the ballots for the two cities were apparently destroyed. Non-surprisingly (to those of us who are students of darker uses of political power, the world over), the worst of the transmission chains are inside these two urban conflict zones -- the democratic elections in those cities are said to be officially delayed by several months (if not permanently), due to "fears of violence". The personal thus becomes political -- as improved support for ebola arrest and eradication has become in part as much political, as epidemiological. The results of the election are very likely to exclude the votes of over 1.2 million people, as the election's final results will be announced in January, but people in those two cities won't vote until March at the earliest. Here's a bit, from local news sources:

. . . .The election in and around Beni and Butembo in North Kivu province, and Yumbi in Mai-Ndombe province, will be in March (2019), the commission’s statement said. That’s long after Congo’s “definitive” presidential election results are set to be announced on Jan. 15, with the inauguration three days later.

Congo’s election has been delayed for more than two years, leading to sometimes deadly protests. Opposition parties have said they will not accept further delays of the vote to choose a successor to longtime President Joseph Kabila. . . .

“This is completely unacceptable,” presidential candidate Martin Fayulu, the leader of an opposition coalition, told The Associated Press after the latest delay. “We campaigned in those territories, life has not stopped. . . . We cannot erase 1.2 million voters just like that.”

Fayulu and seven other opposition candidates on Tuesday accused the electoral commission of being “determined to organize chaotic elections.” The commission’s president, Corneille Nangaa, on Monday said the election would take place on Sunday unless “there is a war and nobody can go out and vote. . . .”

As is often the case, human factors are once again predominating over pure biological science breakthroughs -- and making a controllable epidemic. . . less so, due to human conflicts. Still, we will hold out hope for a better 2019, on all fronts, just the same. . . . out on fun excursions with my grown family in town, until Friday night. . . thus -- the blogging forecast: light. Smile.


1 comment:

condor said...

Although the anger is understandable, it seems protesters enraged by the delay of elections, inside urban Beni, has led to the overnight ransacking of an ebola clinic operated by WHO, local authorities, and Doctors Without Borders.

I get it.

The oppressed urban masses in Beni, and Butembo -- are also more likely now to be infected by ebola, since it has escaped containment inside these cities. . . but elections cannot be held (and life saving vaccines cannot be administered) when. . . chaos reigns.

Namaste. . . .