Published: Fri, January 10, 2020
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More than 6000 killed by measles in DR Congo in 2019

More than 6000 killed by measles in DR Congo in 2019

"We are doing our utmost to bring this epidemic under control". However, to be truly successful, we need to make sure that no child runs the unnecessary risk of dying from a vaccine-preventable disease.

World Health Organization and the DR Congo, working with partners and aid agencies, were able to vaccinate more than 18 million children under age 5 past year but said in some areas it's not been possible.

Every one of the country's 26 provinces has reported cases of measles since the outbreak was declared in June past year.

Over 18 million children under five were vaccinated in 2019, it said. The epidemic has been aggravated by 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.

Many well being assets in Congo this yr even have been dedicated to the simultaneous outbreak of Ebola, which has develop into the second worst in historical past after the 2014-2016 West Africa epidemic.

The organization said it has mobilized $ 27.6 million, but needs an additional $ 40 million to involve children ages 6 to 14 in vaccination programs while supporting other health measures against the outbreak.

Measles has killed almost three times as many people in Congo than an Ebola outbreak in the country that has garnered far more worldwide attention, particularly after health teams came under attack from armed militias operating in the area.

Measles, a highly contagious virus, spreads through coughing and sneezing and can live in the air after an infected person has coughed or sneezed for up to two hours. At least 2,231 people have died of Ebola since that outbreak was first identified in August 2018.

"We still need to do more", said Dr. Amédée Prosper Djiguimdé, Officer in charge of the WHO's office in the DR Congo. We can not do this without adequate finance, "said Djiguimdé in the press release".

The country is already reeling under one of the worst Ebola crises and attacks on health workers.

Reportedly, measles in DR Congo has killed twice more people than Ebola in the Central African country.

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