“We Expected to Die” How USAID helped contain the 1st Ebola Case in Goma

VIDEO: on July 14, the first confirmed Ebola case arrived in Goma, the capital of North Kivu province in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The Sick Pastor

Bishop Bernard Kabamba welcomed Pastor Kubiya but immediately knew that something was wrong. He never imagined it would be Ebola. Photo credit: Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA
Meshock Byayi-Tchihanza, the motorcycle driver, transported the sick pastor to a health clinic in Goma. Photo credit: Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA
The current Ebola outbreak in DRC is the second largest in recorded history. USAID is working with UN and NGO partners like the International Rescue Committee, the UN International Organization for Migration and the UN World Health Organization to help stop the disease. Photo credit (from left to right): IRC, IOM, WHO
Jonathan Mongello, an official for the DRC Ministry of Communication, was responsible for finding everyone who had been in contact with Pastor Kubiya. Photo credit: Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA

The Search

Myths and Rumors

News of the first Ebola case in Goma initially spread via word of mouth and social media. Not long after, local and international media started reporting on it.

A Difficult Decision

Meshock Byayi-Tchihanza and his wife Shantal Bora-Mugege had to make a difficult decision after they were exposed to Ebola. Photo credit: Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA
Left: Pastor Jonathan Mongello presents at a World Vision Channels of Hope training. Right: Jonathan proudly displays his Channels of Hope certificates. Photo credit: (left) World Vision (right) Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA
World Vision’s Channels of Hope program teaches religious leaders how to educate their communities about Ebola using scriptures, scientific information and messages, case studies, personal experience and interactive activities. Photo credit: Carole St. Laurent/World Vision
VIDEO: Helen Barclay Hollins, World Vision’s Eastern Zone Director explains the objective of the Channels of Hope program in DRC.

A Living Testament

Vaccination documents for Meshock Byayi-Tchihanza and Bishop Bernard Kabamba. Photo credit: Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA
Bishop Bernard Kabamba and his wife Caroline-Okawo were vaccinated after coming in contact with Pastor Kubiya. They now encourage their congregation to get vaccinated. Photo credit: Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA
Left to right, Shantal Bora-Mugege, Meshock Byayi-Tchihanza, Jonathan Mongello, Bishop Bernard Kabamba and his wife Caroline-Okawo. Photo credit: Emily Rasinski, USAID/OFDA

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