Eveline Shabani Matondo uses an infrared thermometer as she screens visitors for symptoms of Ebola at an entry of the HEAL Africa Hospital in Goma, a city in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since a deadly outbreak of Ebola in 2018, health authorities in the region have instituted strict measures to prevent the spread of the disease. Besides having their temperature checked, visitors must also rinse their hands in a diluted bleach solution. (Photo by Paul Jeffrey/IMA World Health)

Good news: DRC’s largest Ebola outbreak is over. Learn how you helped

  • Emily Esworthy
  • Jun 25, 2020

Like many other health workers in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern region, Eveline Shabani Matondo has spent the better part of two years in crisis mode. She has worked long hours and followed strict preventive measures. She has battled rampant misinformation and risked her own health and safety.

But today, because your love reached neighbors in need, she is celebrating: the longest and deadliest Ebola outbreak in DRC’s history has officially come to an end.

Overcoming challenges to stop Ebola

After the first case of the outbreak was reported in July 2018, the Ebola virus would continue to infect 3,463 people and cause 2,280 deaths. Many challenges stood in the way of fully containing it: limited health care resources, violence, distrust of aid workers and, recently, a shift of international focus onto COVID-19.

But you answered the call to love these neighbors during a time of illness, fear and confusion. Thanks to your generosity, our team could respond quicker, stay longer and reach deeper into communities where other help couldn’t go.

Finally, the World Health Organization officially declared the outbreak over on June 25.

This is how your love joined other help from the U.S. government and others to make a difference for your neighbors in eastern DRC:

  • You helped to train more than 1,200 health workers like Matondo to identify and contain Ebola in her community

  • You equipped 85 hospitals and health clinics with critical supplies like protective suits, masks and isolation units

  • You empowered more than 1,000 religious leaders to teach their faithful communities how to stay healthy

  • You provided clean water and handwashing stations to 164 health clinics to stop the spread

  • You sent trusted local health workers door-to-door to visit almost 320,000 families to dispel myths and teach them about the symptoms and treatment of Ebola.

For more on the impact of this work, read this reflection from Dr. Bill Clemmer, who led Lutheran World Relief and IMA World Health’s response on the ground. 

Your love made the difference

Thank you for wrapping your love around these neighbors through your generosity to Lutheran World Relief. As Matondo knows, two years is a long time to overcome the challenges and the setbacks, day after day, to contain a disease like Ebola — but every life saved is worth it.

Thank you for recognizing these families as your neighbors, and for trusting us to carry your love throughout the world — until your love reaches every neighbor.

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Emily Esworthy, Jun 25, 2020 email