DRC: 65,000 children vaccinated against measles despite access difficulties

Despite insecurity and violence, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have successfully carried out a measles vaccination campaign in the region of Bunyakiri, South Kivu. Within one month, the teams vaccinated 65,000 children aged between 6 months and 15 years.

An epidemic was detected in the area in October last year. Measles is a highly contagious disease, which can prove fatal in children who are also suffering from malnutrition.

Vaccination delayed by insecurity

The campaign was finally carried out between 26 December and 19 January, after having been briefly suspended because of the volatile situation in the north of the region, where several armed groups are present and fighting is frequent.

The rainy season, the mountainous geography of the region, and the high mobility of the population added to the challenges.

People were urged to bring their children to health centres in the region, while mobile teams travelled to more remote areas by motorbike, and the 100-strong team fulfilled its objective of reaching at least 75 per cent of the children living in Bunyakiri.