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DRC EBOLA CRISIS: Health ministry suspends vaccination of measles, other diseases

Health authorities in DRC have suspended Measles vaccination over Ebola. (PHOTO/File)

KINSHASA– The Ministry of Health in the Democratic Republic of Congo has suspended Measles vaccinations following the latest Ebola outbreak.

A combination of a persistent Ebola outbreak in the DRC plus militia attacks on treatment centres and hostility towards health workers have affected urgent medical care for other diseases.

According to a health official from DRC, all campaigns for measles and other diseases in the North-East have been suspended.

The current Ebola epidemic began in August, 2018 in Eastern DRC and has already affected 2,062 people, killing an estimated 1,390 people.

On Friday June 14, the Emergency Committee declared that the current outbreak of ebola fever in the DRC and Uganda is a health emergency therefore it does not meet the criteria of a Public Health Emergency of International concern under the International Health Regulations of 2005.

The situation in the both neighbouring countries was reviewed, including the current epidemiological situation and response strategies, including changes instituted to improve community engagement.

The organization made recommendations and encouraged strict border controls as Uganda has done, and preventive practices such as hand washing. It also suggested administration of preventive vaccines to front-line health personnel.

To be declared a global emergency of International concern, the epidemic must pose a risk to other countries and require a coordinated response.

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