In the mass hysteria of the Coronavirus and the West’s confusion as to how the virus has not infiltrated Africa when it has wreaked mass havoc in Asia, Europe and the Americas, its easy to forget that Africa has been dealing with its own epidemics, most of which used as an excuse to indulge in systematic racism and consumerism. Most recently, the world had to contend with the Ebola virus disease, named (in racist fashion) after a river in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
As the epicentre of the disease, Congo has long struggled with several resurgences of Ebola. Each resurgence has led to a severe damage to the public image of the country, loss of revenue and deaths of its citizens. It has spent the two years trying to find and treat every case of Ebola still left in the country. After two years of incredible medical professionalism, consistency and empathy for sufferers, the DRC can finally beat its chest and announce that it has successfully discharged its last known Ebola patient.
An emotional day in #Beni #DRC as Masiko, the last #Ebola patient in DRC leaves the Ebola treatment centre in #Beni! Our @WHO team was delighted to share this victory with Masiko, @MinSanteRDC, our partners, & the people of Beni. pic.twitter.com/2OQ1N14x1e
— WHO African Region (@WHOAFRO) March 3, 2020
Now these are the kind of victories we should be celebrating across the continent. Doctors in the DRC have worked tireless with health professionals from the World Health Organization (WHO) to isolate and treat sufferers and prevent the spread of the disease to new vectors. The innovation, resilence and perserverance of African doctors to treat the most disadvantaged in our communities. It stands as a lesson to us all, that these debilitating diseases can and should be defeated, but it will only happen if we are trusted to take charge of our own healthcare.
Congratulations to the DRC.