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MSF recently pulled its staff from Kawta and Butembo following violent attacks on its Ebola treatment centers (ETCs), but it has maintained its operations in other parts of North Kivu province and in neighboring Ituri province.

Liu criticized the militarization of the situation, saying Thursday that police and security forces are trying to force people to comply with health authorities.

According to the MSF, more than 40 percent of new cases since the beginning of the year are of people who died in the community, not in treatment centres. At the end of February, an Ebola treatment center was partially destroyed in Butembo and its township, Katwa. "It shows how the response has failed to listen and act on the needs of those most affected", warned MSF President Joanne Liu.

According to a new report, there are more than 900 cases of Ebola in the Congo, causing lots of uncertainty in the region as health officials sluggishly meet people's needs despite newer treatment options that should be available across the nation, according to AXIOS.

Liu said there are signs the Ebola outbreak in Congo - the second worst in the world's history - was not being brought under control.

The epidemic is the second-largest ever, after the one in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2016, which sickened 28,610 people and killed 11,308.

Ebola responders were increasingly seen as the enemy, with more than 30 attacks and incidents against the Ebola response in the past month alone, she said.

"The existing atmosphere can only be described as toxic".

"Ebola still has the upper hand", Liu said.

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Involvement of security and police forces merely deepened suspicions that Ebola was being used as a political tool, she said.

A spokesperson for Congo's health ministry said there appeared to be confusion about the security forces' role.

Three Canadians - one doctor and two nurses - were working in those centres but are safe.

"Contrary to worldwide agents, local health workers don't have the privilege of being evacuated when security conditions worsen".

In addition, Liu said, 35 percent of the new cases are in people who had not previously been identified as contacts.

MSF physicians say they have more success getting villagers to accept vaccinations when government troops are not present, but unfortunately their lives could be at risk from armed insurgents if they do not travel with military protection.

It has claimed 561 lives out of 894 recorded cases, according the latest DRC health ministry figures.

She said aid groups needed to rethink their tactics and offer help in ways that the community would accept, even if it meant helping families to safely care for Ebola patients at home rather than in isolation units.

"In every town, partners work with social scientists, anthropologists and local leaders to understand the context and tailor the approach to what works", he added.


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