Measles epidemic claims over 200 lives in DRC


Measles epidemic has caused more than 2,700 deaths between January and early August in the DRC, killing more people in seven months than Ebola in one year, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) reported on tweet.

“The measles epidemic declared on June 10 is the deadliest that the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has known since 2011-2012 Between January and early August 2019, it infected more than 145,000 people and resulted in 2,758 deaths”, according to the MSF-DRC.

“Despite the magnitude of the measles epidemic in the DRC, there is an alarming lack of actors and funds with $ 2.5 million mobilized out of the $ 8.9 million required for the response plan”.

“The contrast with the urgency Ebola, which attracts hundreds of millions of dollars, is striking”, adds the humanitarian medical organization.

Since the beginning of the year, MSF has vaccinated 474,863 children and supported 27,439 patients.

MSF says it is fighting the measles epidemic in 13 DRC provinces alongside local teams from the Congolese Ministry of Health.

The measles epidemic is reported in 23 out of 26 provinces in the country, health authorities said in June.

“Since the beginning of the year, MSF has vaccinated 474,863 children and supported 27,439 patients,” reads again.

Measles affects mainly children from the age of 5-6 months and young adults.

The Ebola virus disease has totaled 1,905 deaths since its declaration on 1st August, 2018, according to the latest assessment of the Congolese health authorities on Wednesday.

In mid-July, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that the measles epidemic was killing nearly as much as the other two epidemics combined: Ebola and cholera.

Hauwa Mustapha