The World Health Organization’s regional director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, has said allegations that aid workers sexually abused women while tackling an Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo are “heartbreaking”.

She said she will ensure a “timely, fair and transparent investigation” and that those found to have been involved will face serious consequences.

Dr Moeti said she would ensure mechanisms of reporting such acts are corrected:

A year-long investigation by two agencies revealed that aid workers who identified themselves as WHO staff sexually abused women in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The New Humanitarian and the Thomson Reuters Foundation spoke to 50 local women who were allegedly plied with drinks, “ambushed” in hospitals, forced to have sex, and two became pregnant.

The allegations cover the period between 2018 and March this year.

The WHO has pledged to investigate allegations.

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