WHO mourns doctor killed in DR Congo hospital attack
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has announced the death of Dr Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung, an epidemiologist deployed by the organisation in the response to the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
Dr. Mouzoko was killed on Saturday April 19, in an attack on Butembo University Hospital, Two other persons were also injured but reported to be in a stable condition. The attack took place during a coordination meeting being held at the hospital at that time.
“I and all of WHO are deeply saddened by the loss of our colleague and brother Dr Mouzoko. He put himself on the frontline to save lives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “We grieve with his family and friends at this very difficult time.”
“This is a tragic reminder of the risks health workers take every day to protect the lives and health of others. We are outraged by this attack: health workers and health facilities must never be targets.
“We are assessing the security situation to ensure the safety of all patients, health workers and Ebola responders”, said Dr Tedros. “At the same time, we remain committed to continue supporting the Ministry of Health of DRC to end this outbreak as quickly as possible.”
The Regional Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti has also expressed shock over the death of the epidemiologist.
“This tragic and unacceptable incident can only impede the response to the outbreak and put more lives at risk. It is vital that the safety of our staff is not compromised as they work tirelessly under extremely difficult circumstances to respond to the Ebola outbreak,” Dr. Moetti said.
“My deepest condolences go to the family of our colleague and the government and people of Cameroon,” she said in a statement.
“WHO is working with partners to assess the security situation and we are determined to ensure the safety of all responders – Congolese, WHO and partners. The Ebola outbreak will only be contained if crucial response activities are allowed to take place without violence.
“The Organization remains committed to supporting the Ministry of Health of DRC to end this outbreak as quickly as possible,” the statement further said.