Mass measles vaccination campaign begins in Ebola-hit DR Congo province

UNICEF/Madjiangar Interethnic violence has ravaged the Ituri Province in the north-east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since December last year, generating significant population movements within the Province, and toward neighbouring Uganda.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.

Health workers have started a massive measles vaccination campaign in north-east Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a region that’s in the grip of the second deadliest Ebola virus outbreak on record.

UN Children’s Fund UNICEF said on Thursday that it aims to inoculate 67,000 children in Ituri province.

They’re just a small fraction of the 400,000 people displaced by an upsurge in communal violence and clashes between Government forces and non-State armed groups in the resource-rich area.

According to UNICEF, nearly 2,000 people have died from measles across DRC so far this year, more than two-thirds of them children under five.

Latest health data from DRC point to around 115,000 cases of suspected measles in the country, far more than the 65,000 tally last year.

Ebola a complicating factor in protecting the vulnerable

Tackling the measles outbreak is complicated by the fact that its symptoms – fever, redness around the eyes, diarrhoea – are similar to those displayed by Ebola patients.

On Wednesday, the DRC authorities reported that the latest Ebola outbreak – affecting Ituri and neighbouring North Kivu province – has killed 1,646 people since it began last August, while 683 people have recovered.

To avoid infection with Ebola virus, measles vaccinators must wear surgical gowns to prevent contact with blood or other bodily fluids carrying the deadly haemorrhagic disease.

Initial focus is on ‘unsanitary’ camps for displaced

As the measles vaccination campaign begins in Ituri, the UN agency said that it is focusing initially on protecting 27,000 children living in crowded camps in and around Bunia, the largest town in the province.

Many have been displaced by multiple attacks and counter-attacks involving Hema herders and Lendu farmers in recent months, as well as clashes between Congolese armed forces and non-state actors.

“The combined threat of Ebola and measles for the thousands of families living in overcrowded and unsanitary displacement camps is unprecedented,” said UNICEF DRC Representative Edouard Beigbeder.

Ituri is home to 35 camps which are scattered across the province, UNICEF says.

Insecurity makes area ‘virtually inacessible’

Many of those living in them are far away from treatment centres, the UN agency added in a statement, which noted that armed groups have destroyed up to half the health facilities in territory that is “virtually inaccessible” owing to insecurity.

“The northeastern part of DRC is home to one of the worst humanitarian crises today,” Mr. Beigbeder said. “Whether it is from measles, Ebola, or the reality of living in a displacement camp, children are at grave risk. We must do everything we can to protect them.”

Measles campaigns are also being planned for Tchomia and Nyankunde health zones, elsewhere in Ituri.










the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

ECB offers cheaper money despite reactions from Germany

ECB: Growth measures even before the German elections

EU-UK: A deal synonymous to ‘remain’, England pays the Irish price

The West and Russia accomplished the dismembering and the economic destruction of Ukraine

GSMA Mobile 360 – Africa: Rise of the Digital Citizen, Kigali 16 – 18 July 2019, in association with The European Sting

COP21 Paris: The Final Agreement Adopted-full text

Imaginary Journeys Into Eternal China

Turkey’s Erdogan provokes the US and the EU by serving jihadists and trading on refugees

Inequality in the delivery of health services

Now is the time to seize ‘unprecedented opportunity’ of the Sustainable Development Forum, says ECOSOC President

This Norwegian cruise line plans to power its ships with rotting fish

Car bomb attack on National Police Academy in Colombia, ‘strongly condemned’ by UN

The global appetite for meat is growing, and it’s harming the planet

Entrepreneurship in a newly shaped Europe: what is the survival kit for a young Catalan and British entrepreneur in 2018?

Attack on Saudi facilities risks dragging Yemen into ‘regional conflagration’: UN Envoy

US-EU trade negotiations: pointless tariffs against real economic growth

The undead banks

‘No safe way’ into battle-scarred Afghan city of Ghazni to deliver aid as traumatized children search for parents

Cyprus President urges collective leadership to address ‘root causes’ of world’s crises

The ethics of the Medical Technology Civilisation era

Key Brazilian border crossing for Venezuela refugees reopens as asylum numbers pass last year’s total

EU-China relations under investigation?

The EU seals CETA but plans to re-baptise TTIP after missing the 2016 deadline

Chauvinism and xenophobia will lead to global assertiveness and more wars

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

EU: Tax evasion and fraud flourish under political protection

Fresh airstrikes kill dozens in conflict-ravaged Syria

How businesses can navigate a global economic slowdown

A Sting Exclusive: EU Commission’s Vice President Šefčovič accentuates the importance of innovation to EU’s Energy Union

EU budget for 2021-2027: Commission welcomes provisional agreement on Horizon Europe, the future EU research and innovation programme

EU-Singapore free trade deal gets green light in Trade Committee

More than nine in ten children exposed to deadly air pollution

How many websites are there?

MWC 2016 LIVE: BT chief aims to be at UK 5G forefront

‘No steps taken’ so far to end Israel’s illegal settlement activity on Palestinian land – UN envoy

Brexit: Britain and the Continent fighting the battle of Waterloo again

Security: better access to data for border control and migration management

Piracy and high seas crime growing, becoming more sophisticated, UN Security Council told

Myanmar Government side-lining democratic reform, resorting to military era repression: UN expert

Newly-elected Nigerian UN General Assembly President pledges focus on ‘peace and prosperity’ for most vulnerable

Eurozone set to abandon monetary and incomes austerity and adopt growth friendly policies

The last goodbye of JADE’s Executive Board 2019

Women must have an equal share in politics, say MEPs and national MPs

UN relief official in Yemen condemns ‘horrific’ attack on passenger buses

Deutsche Bank chased away from US, threatened with more fines

As Yemen relief operations face funding gap, timing of surge in violence ‘couldn’t be worse’

From fishing village to futuristic metropolis: Dubai’s remarkable transformation

Europe’s dirty air kills 400,000 people every year

A Valentine’s Special: we can never overdose on love

Why global collaboration is needed to protect against a new generation of cyber threats

France fails again the exams. Kindly requested to sit in on Commission’s class

EU elections 2019: Rise of nationalist trends and populism in Europe challenges the EU edifice

Intel, Almunia and 1 billion euros for unfair potatoes

Nicaragua must end ‘witch-hunt’ against dissenting voices – UN human rights experts

Pakistan: UN strongly condemns terrorist attack that leaves scores dead and wounded at election rally

Jordan flash flooding: UN chief ‘saddened’ by loss of life

‘Provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric’ destabilizing Middle East, warns top UN official

Why cybersecurity should be standard due diligence for investors

Gloomy new statistics signify no end to Eurozone’s economic misery

LGBTQI+ and medicine

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s