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15 April 2024

DR Congo minister declares measles epidemic

Photo: AFP


DR Congo's health minister has declared an epidemic of measles, with the country already struggling to contain the outbreak of deadly Ebola disease since last August.

Medical teams have confirmed 677 cases of measles among 87,000 suspected cases in 23 provinces, Oly Ilunga Kalenga said in a statement Monday.

The tally represents a seven-fold increase on the same period in 2018, he added. He urged parents to vaccinate their children.

In April, 2.24 million children aged between six and 59 months were vaccinated over four days, and another immunisation campaign covering 1.4 million children will be launched "in the coming days," he said.

"To stop the chain of measles transmission and prevent future epidemics, at least 95 percent of the population have to be vaccinated," the minister said.

The Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in the east of the country, has claimed more than 1,300 lives since August 1.