DRC: 65.000 children vaccinated against measles in Bunyakiri

65,082 children, aged 6 months to 15 years, in the region of Bunyakiri (in South Kivu, DRC) have been vaccinated against measles by MSF teams in the last month. The campaign had to be briefly suspended in the north of the region due to the volatile situation of security in the area where several armed groups are present and fighting is frequent.

The operation in Bunyakiri was also complicated due to the mountainous geography of the region, with many rivers swelling during the rainy season in which the campaign took place. The measles epidemic –a disease that can be lethal in children also affected by malnutrition- was detected in October last year when the first cases arrived to the health centres in the area, difficult to access and isolated. After the epidemiological analysis of the samples taken, the number of cases, their geographical origin and the extension of the disease, it was decided to undertake the campaign.

A team of more than a hundred people participated in the vaccination and also in the treatment of the patients affected. The vaccination was carried out from December 26th to January 19th, after finally getting access to the north of the region.

The vaccination teams were established in the different health centres to which the population was called to take their children. Mobile teams moved into the more inaccessible areas by bikes. The campaign has reached a minimum of 75% of the children in the region which, taking into account the difficulties in access and the high mobility of the population, fulfilling the objectives established by the medical organization.