Police have fired teargas at doctors in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The doctors were holding a march for better rights and working conditions.
Thousands of doctors protested across the country yesterday and today in particular in Goma, Mbuji-Mayi, Kisangani, Kolwezi, Kikwit and Kinshasa to demand risk bonus. Doctors in DRC have long agitated for better working conditions but the current marches are particularly triggered by a series of recent events especially in Ebola treatment centres.
On February 24, a treatment centre in Katwa was set ablaze.
On March 9, an attack on a treatment centre at Butembo left a policeman dead and a health worker wounded. It was the third attack on that centre.
On April 19, Cameroonian doctor Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung was shot dead in an attack on a hospital in the eastern city of Butembo.
Last week Wednesday, dozens of local doctors and nurses protested against the physical risks they ran in Butembo, urging authorities to provide sufficient security by the beginning of May or they would go on strike.
This leads us to this week; to yesterday and today, where the situation has escalated to health workers being tear-gassed. Should the health workers strike, the DRC would not be able to contain the Ebola outbreak. This is critical as the outbreak is the second deadliest on record, second after West Africa's epidemic of 2014-2016 that killed more than 11,300 people.
Additionally, fighting in DRC and resistance within communities hampers the containment of the disease. Furthermore, MSF, an international medical charity, suspended operations in the area due to the recurrent attacks.
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