MSF Measles Vaccination in DRC - Apr 2017
As measles sweeps across Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), more than one million children have been vaccinated against the disease in a nine-month campaign by the international aid organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), supporting the Ministry of Health. Since November 2016, MSF teams have also treated more than 41,000 children for the disease in Maniema, Lomami, Tanganyika, Ituri, South Kivu and Equateur provinces.
Measles is extremely contagious and is mostly spread through sneezing and coughing. It mainly affects children, especially the under-fives. For those who suffer complications and who fail to receive treatment, it can prove deadly.
For the vaccine to be effective, 95 percent of children aged from six months to 15 years need to be vaccinated. In a country as large as DRC, where roads are often poor or non-existent, and travelling can be hampered by insecurity, considerable logistical constraints exist to reach children in certain areas. MSF teams have travelled by motorbike and on foot down narrow forest trails to reach the remotest areas.
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