Since the beginning of the year, 16 246 cases of measles have been reported in the DRC. However, many deaths occur in communities and go unreported.
23 provinces are affected. The highest number of cases occur in Haut Lomami, Lualaba and Thsopo. In Kasai and Tanganyika, the outbreak comes on top of an extremely precarious humanitarian situation and high malnutrition rates. The mortality rate during a measles outbreak can reach up to 20% among malnourished children.
A vaccination campaign is planned for March 2019. Over two million doses of vaccine are available. In the meantime, measles treatment at healthcare centres is urgently needed to cope with the excessive mortality rate amongst children.
The number of measles cases in DRC is growing since 2016. Over 67 000 cases of measles were reported in 2018, with a significant increase during the last six months of the year.
The DRC currently faces simultaneously several outbreaks, including Ebola, cholera, monkey-pox, yellow fever and poliomyelitis.