DR Congo: thousands affected by cholera and measles outbreak

Hundreds of people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have lost their lives due to a serious outbreak of measles and cholera, as thousands are still infected.
 
Since September 2010, there have been 115,484 registered cases of measles with 1,145 deaths among people infected in the provinces of Kivu, Katanga, Maniema, Kasai Occidental, Equateur, Bas Congo and Kasai Oriental. About six million children were vaccinated in the areas most affected in the months of April and May, but the epidemic has spread to other provinces where there were no vaccination campaigns, according to Fides.
 
Currently there is a plan to vaccinate at least 915,000 children for the month of July in nine provinces. Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, preventable by vaccination. It can bring complications such as blindness, encephalitis, diarrhoea, ear infections and pneumonia.
 
In addition to measles, another scourge that continues to torment the country's population is cholera. Since March, there have been about 1,449 cases with 74 deaths in Kisangani, due to an epidemic that is spreading from the Congo River to the provinces of Bandundu, Equateur and Kinshasa.
 
Until a few days ago, there were 3,245 reported cases and 192 deaths. Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the consumption of contaminated food or water by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. If not acted upon immediately, it leads to diarrhoea and vomiting and causes serious dehydration that leads to death.
 
The country is also dealing with new polio cases: 62 cases recorded in July. The International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) is supporting the Red Cross of the DRC in its efforts to promote health care in the affected areas.

Source: CISA/Fides