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

 

(CC BY 2.0), flickr, Marco Bellucci

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