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Video: Measles Epidemic: 6,000 Deaths In Democratic Republic Of Congo
2023 Author: Lynn Laird | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 21:10
Defined by the World Health Organization as the worst measles epidemic in the world, this contagious disease is currently responsible for the deaths of more than 6,000 people in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Around 310,000 suspected cases have been reported in the country since last year. However, lack of funds remains the major obstacle to stem the epidemic, which has prompted WHO to call on its partners and agencies to strengthen responses financially.
What measures against the measles epidemic?
Although WHO and its international partners have vaccinated 18 million Congolese children under 5, immunization coverage across the country is still low. The company says it had raised $ 27.6 million but needed an additional $ 40 million in order to immunize children aged 6 to 14.
For your information, 25% of cases reported in the DRC have occurred in children under 5 years old, these being the most sensitive to the virus. What is more, since the beginning of last year, the pandemic has worsened due to various factors such as low vaccine coverage, malnutrition, difficult access to health care etc.
“We are doing everything we can to overcome this measles epidemic. However, to be successful we must make sure that no child is at risk of succumbing to a disease that is easily preventable with a vaccine,”said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, in an announcement. published on January 2.
Fight against disease
Measles is a highly contagious virus that spreads through the air and even through direct contact with secretions from the nose or throat of an infected individual. It can be easily transmitted by coughing or sneezing as well as by touching an infected surface.
Amédée Prosper Djiguimdé, another WHO official in the DRC confirms the desperate need for financial resources in order to end the deadly epidemic. “Thousands of Congolese families need our assistance to fight measles. We cannot do it without adequate finances,”Djiguimdé said in his press release.
Currently, the Democratic Republic of the Congo is fighting two serious epidemics: measles and Ebola. It is indeed the second deadliest scourge in history, which began in August 2018. Despite the efforts of the WHO, access to some communities is still difficult.