UNICEF to vaccinate 67,000 children against measles in Ebola hit Democratic Republic of Congo

UNICEF to vaccinate 67,000 children against measles in Ebola hit Democratic Republic of Congo
File image. Picture: PA.

UNICEF have announced plans to vaccinate 67,000 children in the Ituri province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Nearly 2,000 people have died from measles across the region this year, with children under five accounting for more than two-thirds of those figures, according to UNICEF.

A complicating factor in treating measles is that the symptoms are similar to that of the Ebola virus. As a result, measles vaccinators must wear surgical gowns to avoid contact with blood or other bodily fluids to avoid infection.

The United Nations reports that there has been approximately 115,000 cases of suspected measles compared to 65,000 last year.

UNICEF DRC Representative Edouard Beigbeder said that the northeastern part of the DRC is "home to one of the worst humanitarian crises today".

He added: "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.”

According to the UN, 400,000 people have been displaced in the area by a rise in communal violence and clashes between Government forces and non-State armed groups.

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