More than 6,000 measles deaths in DR Congo

Henrietta Brewer
January 10, 2020

In 2019, 18 million children under five years old were vaccinated against measles in the DRC.

Worsening crisisSome 310,000 suspected cases of the measles have been reported in the central African country since the beginning of 2019.


In other measles developments, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said yesterday in its monthly measles update that 6 more cases have been reported since its last update on Dec 6, raising the total for 2019 to 1,282 cases. Yet to be truly successful we must ensure that no child faces the unnecessary risk of death from a disease that is easily preventable by a vaccine. United Nations officials say this massive outbreak is due to multiple factors: low vaccination coverage among vulnerable communities, malnutrition, weak public health systems, outbreaks of other epidemic-prone diseases, hard access by vulnerable populations to health care and insecurity that has hampered response in some areas.

"Lack of funding stays an enormous obstacle to efficiently curbing the outbreak", World Health Organization stated in asserting its attraction. Now vaccination continues free of charge in the most-affected areas in the DRC, and children who develop measles will also be treated for free.


The organization said that although it has mobilized $27.6 million, it needed a further $40 million to include children aged between 6 and 14 in vaccination programs while also bolstering other health responses to the outbreak. It can be deadly, especially if it causes pneumonia in the lungs or encephalitis (swelling in the brain). However, Ebola has gained far more global attention, especially after armed militias attacked health workersin November. Currently, no states are reporting outbreaks, which are defined as 3 more more linked cases.

"Thousands of Congolese families need our help to ease the burden of this protracted epidemic".


In addition to measles, the DRC is preventing an Ebola epidemic which has already killed 2,233 folks out of three, 390 recorded circumstances, in response to the final official report dated Sunday. "We can not achieve this without adequate finances", Djiguimdé said in the statement.

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