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Map displaying the North Kivu and Ituri provinces, the areas heaviest hit by the Ebola outbreak. A young girl uses a handwashing station at the Beni circuit assembly venue.

MAY 2, 2019
DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO

Deadly Ebola Spreads in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Amidst a climate of civil unrest, there has been an ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since August 2018. Over 1,088 cases of Ebola resulting in 665 fatalities have been reported in the areas of North Kivu and Ituri. Sadly, this outbreak has affected our brothers. The Congo (Kinshasa) branch reports that, among Jehovah’s Witnesses, ten adults and two children have died from the disease. Another brother was infected with the disease but recovered.

In order to educate the brothers about disease prevention, the Congo (Kinshasa) branch received approval from the Coordinators’ Committee to prepare a special video and discourse. The video offered practical suggestions such as the installation of handwashing stations, a measure that all congregations have implemented. These practical measures have helped to reduce the spread of the disease. As a result, two public health officials were moved to send the branch office letters of appreciation for the exemplary conduct and cooperation of Jehovah’s Witnesses during the Ebola disease outbreak.—Matthew 5:16.

In many cities, our brothers have been quarantined in their homes for weeks at a time. To reduce further the possible spread of disease during this volatile time, the branch office has asked 12 circuits to postpone their regional conventions. To ensure that the brothers still receive their spiritual food, the branch has arranged for affected congregations to watch a recorded video of the convention program in their Kingdom Halls.

Our prayers are with the brothers and sisters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We take courage from the Bible’s hope of a future time when sickness will be eradicated.—Isaiah 33:24.