Measles epidemic in DR Congo

A nurse prepares to vaccinate an infant in North Kivu province Democratic Republic of Congo

A nurse prepares to vaccinate an infant in North Kivu province Democratic Republic of Congo

Around 310,000 suspected measles cases have been reported since January previous year, prompting a health emergency in the region.

The WHO said that although the agency and its global partners have vaccinated 18 million Congolese children under the age of 5 against the disease, coverage through routine vaccinations across the country is still poor.

Aside from low vaccination coverage and battling other diseases, DRC health officials are grappling with malnutrition in some communities, along with the effects of weak health systems, insecurity, and lack of access.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization said inadequate funding remains a huge impediment to successfully curbing the outbreak.

According to the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti said, "We are doing our utmost to bring this epidemic under control". "We urge our donor partners to urgently step up their assistance".

World Health Organization said an additional US$40 million in emergency funds was needed from donors for a six-month immunisation plan for children to help curb the epidemic.

Around 310,000 suspected measles cases were reported since January.

Amédée Prosper Djiguimdé, the officer in charge of the WHO's office in the DRC, said that while the agency recognizes government and donor contributions in ending the deadly outbreak, more effort is needed.

"But we still need to do more".

"We can not achieve this without adequate finances", Djiguimdé said.

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.

Most people will recover, but measles can cause life-long disability.

Late past year, Western Australia experienced its worst outbreak of measles in two decades, with 28 reported cases from late September to late October. Seven out of ten children said that the survivors of this disease feel marginalized by friends, and one out of three believed that ostracization is also felt in the family due to the stigma related to this disease.

Measles can be prevented with two doses of a vaccine that has been proven to be safe and effective and has been in use since the 1960s.

US House Votes to Curb Trump’s Unilateral Warmaking Power Against Iran
Six pack PSG muscle past Saint-Etienne into League Cup semis