This Ebola Survivor Delivered a Healthy Baby During One of the Worst Outbreaks in History
Baby Sylvana tested negative for Ebola during Congo’s health crisis
Amid the second-deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, an Ebola survivor delivered a healthy baby girl named Sylvana on Sunday in the Democratic Republic of Congo, according to the Associated Press.
"She is in good health and is not infected with Ebola," said the Health Ministry in a statement to the AP.
Over 580 people are currently suffering from Ebola in what has become the Democratic Republic of Congo’s worst outbreak in history, according to the Center of Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP.) More than 383 people have died in the outbreak, which exceeds the county’s death toll during the Ebola outbreak of 2013, the worst recorded outbreak in the region, which ultimately killed more than 11,000 people across several countries in West Africa.
Unlike Congo’s nine previous outbreaks, this one is happening alongside a civil war and militia violence. Baby Sylvana was delivered in a treatment center in Beni, a city where rebel attacks have prevented health workers from providing medical care.
Bébé Sylvana est le premier bébé né d’une patiente guérie d’#Ebola. Elle est née le dimanche 6 janvier 2019 au CTE de #Beni. Elle pèse 3,7 kg, elle est en bonne santé et elle n’est pas contaminée par Ebola.— Ministère de la Santé RDC (@MinSanteRDC) January 9, 2019
Lisez son histoire dans notre bulletin du jour: https://t.co/baCA6tKZnXpic.twitter.com/ZG5bsCVl7x
Ebola has adversely affected Congo’s youth, with children making up about one-fifth of all cases, according to UNICEF. Children who develop hemorrhagic fever from the disease have a greater risk of dying than adults.
The youngest person reported to be infected has been a 6-day-old baby. Baby Bénédicte was nicknamed “young miracle” because of her full recovery from the disease in December. Experts believe that Ebola may possibly be spread to children by close contact with sick parents and breast milk transfusion.
While Baby Sylvana’s mother recovered, Baby Bénédicte’s mother, who also had Ebola, died in childbirth.
Mothers are also being affected by the Ebola crisis. Hundreds of children have lost their parents during this outbreak, the New York Post reports. Women are suffering the most during this outbreak, making up 60% of new cases.
Poverty is also a compounding factor in the crisis, because of how it prevents people from receiving proper health care. Congo is the second poorest country in the world, trailing behind Niger, according to the Human Development Index. Approximately 63.6% of its citizens live below the poverty line.