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Congo: Tackling the largest measles epidemic in the world

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The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that over 280, 000 people have contracted measles and at least 5, 700 died from the virus in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in 2019 – the largest outbreak the country has experienced in years. It has also become the largest measles epidemic in the world today. According to the Epicentre survey, these numbers showcase a fraction of the real figures.

A highly contagious disease spread through coughing and sneezing prevail in all of the 26 country provinces. Currently, the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are at the forefront doing their best to provide free medical intervention in as many areas as they could reach.

“When an epidemic is declared, medical care and vaccination must be combined to stop the spread of the disease,” Alex Wade, the head of mission for MSF in the DRC, stated. “Since mid-November, the Congolese health authorities started measles supplementary immunization activities throughout the country. [And] MSF continues providing free quality medical care to patients. But for now, the epidemic is still several steps ahead of the medical-humanitarian response.”

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