On April 19, a Cameroonian doctor was killed during an attack at the university hospital in Butembo in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s North Kivu province. He is Dr Richard Valery Mouzoko Kiboung, an epidemiologist working with the World Health Organization. During the attack, two more were injured. Dr Richard is survived by his wife and 4 young kids.
The director general of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus shared that what happened was “extremely heartbreaking”. According to him, they are already looking at the security arrangements for the patients and the staff. In his Twitter account, the director general mentioned that the death of Dr Mouzoko affects not just the loved ones, but the people it served, and the entire community. “It is a loss for everyone.”
What happened is indeed a clear picture of what our health workers are facing in the country. It is not just about the fight against Ebola. They seem to fight for their lives as well.
If you must know, this isn’t the first time that health workers have been attacked in DR Congo.
Last February, there were two attacks on Ebola treatment centers which caused the evacuation of staff. The medical services were suspended as well.
And just last month, another treatment center was attacked that killed a police officer. This has injured a number of people as well.
These attacks are greatly affecting the efforts of the medical team to treat Ebola cases in the country.
Ebola outbreak in DR Congo
The Ebola virus was first discovered in the country in 1976. The recent outbreak is known to be the second deadliest and second largest in the world. As of April 16, 833 died from the virus.
What is traumatic stress
Survivors and witnesses of violent crimes and terrorist attacks may experience traumatic stress. One might feel that he or she is not secured and that something bad might happen at any time of the day. But what are the usual emotional responses when you are traumatized by events?
Symptoms of traumatic stress
- stomach churning
- heart pounding
- feeling choked up
- cold sweats
Dealing with traumatic stress
Remember that different people have different ways on how to cope up with traumatic stress.
There is no standard way to deal with stress. Thus, you should not tell another person or yourself what you should be thinking of doing to cope up. You should not be pressured to use a technique that other people used.
Try not to rethink of the traumatic incident over and over again. If you can, avoid reliving the scenario in your head. This can overwhelm your thoughts and can affect how you think. What you can do is to preoccupy your schedule with more productive things such as cooking, playing, or spending time with your loved ones.
Stay away from social media. Believe it or not, social media is already stressful enough to look at. You don’t nee it when you are trying to recover.
However, if the traumatic incident is affecting your life and daily routine, you might need to seek help. Only a professional can treat you the best possible way.