The image of father Lucien Ambunga, missionary of the Congregation of the Mission, receiving the blessing of the Coadjutor Archbishop of Kinshasa, Msgr. Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, after catching Ebola, has jumped into the networks and received multiple expressions of support and affection, appearing in various media from around the globe. Fortunately, Father Lucien is already recovered from the disease.
Taken from Aciprensa:
The photo of a bishop imparting the blessing to a priest quarantined for contracting Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has shaken social networks in recent days.
The image of Father Lucien Ambunga with the Coadjutor Archbishop of Kinshasa, Mons. Fridolin Ambongo Besungu, was published on Twitter by a user identified as Katako Arnold on May 24.
Retweeted Will Swanson (@willswanson):
Incredible image of a priest with ebola being prayed for from afar by his bishop in DRC. There is an outbreak of ebola in the country but officials say it can be contained #EbolaDRC #DRC #Ebola via @arnoldkatako pic.twitter.com/qgHqG05esS
— Radio Lead Africa (@RadioLeadAfrica) May 25, 2018
Local media reported that about two weeks ago, Ambunga had been infected with Ebola after attending to a dying man.
A medical source who decided to remain anonymous told AFP that they had “quarantined a priest from the Mbandaka-Bikoro diocese who has given positive results (Ebola).”
Several users on Twitter shared the photograph, hundreds gave it a “like” and in the comments they assured their prayers for the prompt recovery of the priest.
One of them, identified as Jeanpierre Mbanga, wrote: “May God help him because he has been compassionate to the sick.”
Another user called Oressoh expressed her prayers so that Father Ambunga “be healed in the name of Jesus, that allows him to continue serving humanity, the people of God.”
Also, pro-life leader Obianuju Ekeocha shared the image and wrote: “This is the church in Africa… Unapologetically faith-filled, dependent on God, humble, eager to follow Jesus”.
This is the Church in Africa…
Unapologetically faith-filled, dependent on God,humble,eager to follow Jesus.
Archbishop Fridolin Ambongo of Mbandaka-Bikoro DRC praying for Fr Lucien Ambunga infected by Ebola while ministering to the dying.
This is the Church I know. https://t.co/ShT1DZRfF1
— Obianuju Ekeocha (@obianuju) May 31, 2018
On May 26, Father Ambunga was declared free of Ebola and was able to leave the hospital where he was. The priest is a member of the Congregation of the Mission and parish priest of the Parish of Itipo, in the diocese of Mbandaka-Bikoro, in the north of the country.
The World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed in early May a new outbreak of Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. To date, 50 cases of this disease have been reported, of which 37 have been confirmed.
Rose Mkunu, a doctor who heads a delegation of Caritas Congo in the city of Mbandaka, told the Vatican agency Fides that “the situation is alarming because it is an epidemic of urban Ebola, unlike the previous.”
“Caritas is doing everything possible to raise awareness and inform community and religious leaders about the disease, both on how to protect themselves and how to prevent contagion, but we are limited in our means,” he said.
“Given the nature of the disease and the lack of information, the risk of its spread is to be feared in a city of 1.2 million inhabitants and in neighboring cities,” the President of the Episcopal Conference of Congo (CENC). Bishop Marcel Utembi Tapa, said in a statement.
The WHO explained that Ebola is a serious disease and “often fatal if not treated”. This causes fever, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea and can lead to hemorrhages.
It is transmitted from wild animals to people and is spread through “the transmission from person to person”.
Finally, Bishop Utembi asked the faithful “not to give in to the fear and stigmatization that could hinder the response to the epidemic.”