from JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is to vaccinate 2 million people in a campaign against a cholera scourge that has killed 153 people this year.
People aged one year and above will be vaccinated in the eastern provinces of Haut-Lomami, South Kivu and Tanganyika, which are the most affected.
World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and other partners are supporting the health authorities to roll out the campaign.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, provided operational funding.
Around 3 600 health workers including vaccinators and community mobilizers have been deployed to carry out the campaign which will run for six days, a program which began on Tuesday (December 28).
“Cholera is a dangerous infection that can kill within hours if untreated, but it is predictable and preventable,” said Dr Amédée Prosper Djiguimdé, WHO Officer in Charge in the DRC.
“In addition to the vaccines, which are one of the effective measures against the disease, it’s also very important to provide clean water and to reinforce hygiene and sanitation in order to prevent the outbreak from spreading further.”
In March and July, more than 1,4 million people were vaccinated against cholera in Haut-Katanga province in the south-east of the country.
Cholera is a highly contagious disease transmitted through contaminated water or food. It causes severe diarrhoea and dehydration.
– CAJ News