DRC: Measles kills 3,600 children as new vaccine drive launches

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Measles has killed 3,667 children this year in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), government figures reveal.

The figures emerge as the country launches a third vaccine drive aimed to tackle the disease which has infected almost 184,000 people this year alone. The campaign is being run in coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) in a country also battling the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak in history.

DRC steps up efforts against measles

While plenty of headlines are being written about the DRC’s Ebola outbreak, which has killed more than 2,000 people since August last year, measles has claimed the lives of significantly more people in the country.

The current epidemic is the worst the country has seen for more than a decade and the pace of the disease spreading makes it the fastest-growing measles outbreak in the world.

Health officials say the disease is present in every province of the country.

The latest vaccine drive will see close to a million children receive vaccination against measles in a bid to slow down the spread of the disease.

Featured image: “UNICEF Vaccinates Children against Measles in DRC” flickr photo by United Nations Photo https://flickr.com/photos/un_photo/3836516957 shared under a Creative Commons (BY-NC-ND) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.