The 10th Ebola epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo was the second largest outbreak in history. It started in August 2018 and was declared over in June 2020. During this time 2287 people died from the virus, 1171 survived the infection. Even though, with rVSV-ZEBOV, the world had an experimental yet effective vaccine to battle the virus, it kills over 65% of those infected.
For the people that live in the Ebola hotspots in the Kivu provinces and Ituri, the virus was only one of many problems. Infant mortality is amongst the highest in the world and the Islamic militia group ADF regularly massacres civilians even in the regional capital of Beni. The massive mobilization against the virus by the international community was therefore met with skepticism and even violence by some parts of the local population. This situation made the fight against Ebola especially difficult.
This reportage documents the impact of the new vaccine and investigates why a vaccine alone can not end an epidemic without the right political conditions.