IOM Expands Support to the Mpox Outbreak Response in DRC

Hand-washing in Mbandaka DRC ©IOM

Kinshasa, 5 June 2024 - Lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic and other major outbreaks, such as the Ebola virus disease, have underscored the crucial need to enhance cross-border surveillance and capacities at Points of Entry (PoEs) for outbreak preparedness and response. The volume, speed and ease of travel can pose unique challenges for infectious disease control, and coordinated, system-wide and multisectoral action is required to respond. 

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is expanding support to the ongoing Mpox response in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) led by the Ministry of Health, with a focus on strengthening timely surveillance data collection and risk communication and community engagement in border communities in South Kivu and along key mobility corridors. This is made possible with the support of the United States Agency for International Development and the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention.  

“As diseases know no borders, IOM stands with the DRC government by providing technical assistance in epidemic prevention and control as outlined in the International Health Regulations (IHR) (2005). IOM reaffirms its commitment to mitigating the Mpox epidemic, particularly at the points of entry and cross-border locations. Our support extends beyond the current Mpox outbreak but also in other health emergencies like Ebola and COVID-19, demonstrating our commitment to effective outbreak preparedness and response control,” Fabien Sambussy, IOM Chief of Mission in DRC. 

Leveraging its extensive expertise linking health and human mobility, IOM is working to enhance capacities for detection and referral systems at priority PoEs and crossing points to neighbouring countries. IOM, in collaboration with the DRC Ministry of Public Health and Hygiene conducted a participatory mapping of population mobility in the South Kivu province earlier this year to understand the mobility dimensions related to the spread of zoonotic diseases such as the Mpox virus. The exercise revealed the existence of significant commercial routes and mobility corridors to the epicentre connecting with the main cities of South Kivu (Bukavu, Uvira) and North Kivu (Goma), as well as with Burundi and Rwanda. 

IOM is committed to continue working and providing technical support through its long-standing partnership with the government of DRC. Since 2019, in collaboration with the U.S CDC, IOM has partnered with the national and local border and hygiene programme to strengthen core capacities at thirteen POEs to prepare, detect and respond to public health emergencies; these include the four international airports and nine priority land crossings.  


For more information, please contact:  

Popol BURUME  

Project Officer  

Tel: +243 821 918 662