Since August 2018, in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, an Ebola epidemic is underway, the second most lethal epidemic in history and the first in a context of war. The numbers are impressive with over 2000 victims and more than 3100 infections recorded. This is the first Ebola epidemic in history to record such a high number of infections and deaths amongst children. Over 30% of the sick people are indeed under 18 years of age and, as of today, this ”slaughter of innocents” is not coming to an end.
The report by Daniele Bellocchio and Marco Gualazzini describes this dramatic situation, showing what happens every day in the city of Beni – the epicentre of the disease, still under siege of the rebel militias ravaging the area. The report recounts the work done by the healthcare operators trying to contain the infection and treat the sick people. Check-point, sampling of the infected and the dead, decontamination of the houses, vaccinations and treatment centres, funerals and encounters with the survivors and the relatives of the victims are only a few of the moments immortalized. These help narrate the psychosis, the phobia and the desperation that is gripping the population of Beni, in North Kivu, caught between the endemic insecurity and the spread of a virus that reaps innocent victims daily.