Chapter Two : Between negotiations and headaches 

Ebola expert Luis arrives in Kinshasa to take part in the response to the latest outbreak...

Life in Kinshasa seems to be the same every time I come. It’s a megalopolis of 10 million inhabitants. Maybe eleven. Maybe more. Who exactly knows?  

Traffic jams on the 17 Mai and the 30 Novembre boulevards seem to be commonplace. Nothing changes. And in the middle of all this, people live, or rather survive. Riding four people to a motorcycle, or crammed into the few buses that cross the city.  

Ebola nestles today in the routes along the river that people use to get about

At night, on the other side of the river, we can see Brazzaville. Pretty. Glowing. Silent. The complete opposite of her rival: Kin the outrageous, the party town. 


The Democratic Repubilc of the Congo (DRC) is at breaking point, its moribund health system is hollow. And it is lost in the whirlwind of chronic political and economic crisis in which a new epidemic crisis has erupted. Ebola. This time affecting urban and rural communities, all at once.  

This time, it is not a simple epidemic confined to an isolated village. Instead, Ebola nestles today in the routes along the river that people use to get about, that facilitate the movement of populations. 

I spend my office days in the office, from meeting to meeting, from commission to commission. Some useful, others less so. We speak little or too much. We exchange our business cards. Mine are the improvised cards that I printed this morning at the office. We see some people we recognise at first glance but we do not know where or when we last met. 

This country, or rather this regional concept, could be world-renowned, were it not for the earthquakes, all medico-humanitarian crises of this world: civil wars in the East and political instability in the Kassaï, epidemics of measles, cholera, yellow fever, the lack of sanitary infrastructure ... 

The Ebola crisis in the DRC has taken on another dimension. It has settled in a provincial capital, spreading worry and fear among the population.