Thousands taken ill by measles and cholera in DR Congo

A mother and her child at the Kalembelembe Paediatric Hospital, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

An outbreak of measles and cholera is sweeping across the Democratic Republic of Congo according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

The diseases have already claimed over 2,500 lives.

WHO says efforts to contain the outbreaks through vaccination campaigns and provision of hygiene kits have been hampered by lack of adequate funding.

The measles outbreak is spreading through seven provinces in Eastern DR Congo, while the cholera outbreak first reported in the Kisangani province has spread along the Congo River and has reached the capital Kinshasa.

 Tarik Jasarevic from WHO says 9 million dollars is required to undertake vaccinations campaigns to contain the measles outbreak. 

"The first two campaigns are planned this month targeting 915,000 children in nine provinces. The first campaign should take place from the 14 to 19th July in Kasai Occidental, Bas Congo, Equateur and Provence Orientale. The second campaign on the 21-25 of July in Kasai Occidental, Kasai Oriental, Katanga, Maniema and Sud Kivu." 

The vaccination campaigns will be undertaken jointly by the World Health Organization and the UN Children's agency UNICEF.

Duration 23″

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