Dear Sisters and Brothers,
The outbreak of Ebola virus infections in West Africa and the impact of those cases on persons that have contracted it here in the United States have dominated the news for the past several weeks. The responses have ranged from responsible to ridiculous. Although information regarding the outbreak of Ebola virus and the danger it poses for the American people has been sketchy, scattered, confusing, and sometimes contradictory, the recent efforts of the responsible agencies in government and the medical community have resulted in a more coherent message regarding preparation, protection, prevention, and treatment.
There was an outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo in July of this year, but there was no mention of it in the world media in contrast to how it reacted to the outbreak in West Africa. The obvious question is why wasn’t the DRC caught up in the frenzy? The government and the medical community in the DRC have developed the protocols and processes to quickly and effectively respond to contain any outbreak of the virus. There were 70 cases from the July outbreak, with 40 fatalities. This measured against the 8,400 cases and 4,000 deaths in West Africa. Past outbreaks in the region of the DRC had a low number of people affected and has been brought under control within three months.
The DRC plans to train 1,000 volunteers to assist in the fight against Ebola in West Africa. Health Minister Felix Kabange has invited other countries to send volunteers to the new training centers in Kinshasa as well.
We anticipate a meaningful time of sharing with Mr. Jean-Pierre Djimbonge while he is our guest in the Michigan Region. Please prepare to extend a warm, cordial, and sincere welcome to our brother and partner from the Kinshasa District of the Community of Disciples of Christ Congo.
Yours in Christ,
Eugene James, Regional Minister.