AP correspondent brings his local experience to an international story

Bara Vaida

About Bara Vaida

Bara Vaida (@barav) is AHCJ's core topic leader on infectious diseases. An independent journalist, she has written extensively about health policy and infectious diseases. Her work has appeared in outlets that include the National Journal, Agence France-Presse, Bloomberg News, McClatchy News Service, MSNBC, NPR, Politico and The Washington Post.

Al-hadji Kudra Maliro

Al-hadji Kudra Maliro

In August 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo declared its 10th outbreak of Ebola in 40 years. The number of cases has now surpassed 3,000 and more than 2,000 have died, making it the second biggest and deadliest Ebola epidemic after the West Africa outbreak of 2014-16.

One of the local journalists on the ground is Al-hadji Kudra Maliro. He is the eastern Congo correspondent for the Associated Press and also has contributed stories to the Christian Science Monitor, Daily Mail, Le Monde, France 24, Yahoo and Stars and Stripes. On his Facebook page, Maliro describes himself as a photojournalist, fixer, reporter, activist, writer and video producer.

He grew up in Beni, Congo and Kampala, Uganda and now lives in Goma, a city of 2 million near the Rwandan border. Goma is in the North Kivu region of the country, an epicenter of the outbreak and the site of ethnic and civil conflict.

Maliro has been covering the Ebola outbreak since September 2018. Since there are few journalists on the ground there, his perspective has played a role in shaping how the international community gets information about the ongoing outbreak. He frequently posts on his Twitter and Facebook page about stories he is covering and the people who he is with.

He also has worked with foreign journalists to help them cover the Ebola outbreak by serving as a navigator and translator in his country.

“I am like a security adviser, a health adviser and a translator,” he says. “French is my first language, my mother language. Then I speak English, Arabic and Swahili. When journalists come here, I am like a security adviser and explain the security protocols and the health protocols here so that they can be safe in this region.”

Maliro recently talked with AHCJ’s Bara Vaida for a How I Did It piece on what it’s been like to be a local correspondent in the middle of this international story.

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