WHO Calls DR Congo’s Measles Outbreak World’s Largest and Fastest Moving

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DR Congo is currently facing the world’s worst measles outbreak with more than 6,000 people announced dead, and more than 310,000 cases reported in the country since the beginning of 2019.

WHO and it’s international partners have vaccinated about 18 million Congolese children under the age of 5 against the disease but the country still has poor infrastructure, attacks on health centres and bad access to healthcare serviced has kept the country vulnerable to the vaccine-preventable disease. It said 25% of reported cases in the country occurred in children under.

“We are doing our utmost to bring this epidemic under control. 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. We urge our donor partners to urgently step up their assistance,” Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s Regional Director for Africa, said in the statement.

WHO is currently trying to raise $40 million to include children aged between 6 and 14 in vaccination programs while also bolstering other health responses to the outbreak. The organization previously tmobilized $27.6 million.

“We recognise the government’s engagement in the efforts to end the outbreak and we are grateful for the generosity of our donors. But we still need to do more. Thousands of Congolese families need our help to lift the burden of this prolonged epidemic from their backs. We cannot achieve this without adequate finances.” said Dr Amedee Prosper Djiguimde, the officer in charge of the WHO office in the DRC.

What is measles?

Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease caused by the measles virus. Symptoms usually develop 10–12 days after exposure to an infected person and last 7–10 days. Initial symptoms typically include fever, cough, runny nose, and inflamed eyes.

It is estimated that a global total of 110,000 people die from measles each year. It’s preventable by vaccination early on, mostly after birth.

DR Congo Still Faces Ebola Outbreak

The country is also still experiencing the second most deadly outbreak of Ebola the world has ever seen.

The WHO said 60 health workers who were trained in December would be deployed across the country this week to assist the agency and — among other services aimed at tackling measles outbreak — conduct community engagement, CNN reports.

As bad as things are with the Ebola outbreak, measles has killed three times as many people as Ebola since it became an epidemic in the country.

Adedayo Laketu

Adedayo Laketu is a creative inventor who's interested in curating a New Age for Africa across all mediums.

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