• During the reporting period, four new cases were reported in Beni, all of them related to the first one. In a tensed climate, the Community Animation Cells (CAC) - supported by UNICEF - played a key role in engaging the community and facilitating the main response activities, with a strong cooperation with civil society actors.
• In the framework of the African Vaccination Week from 20 and 26 April and despite issues related to insecurity in Ituri, UNICEF oversaw the measles vaccination and recuperation exercise that occurred in five health zones in North Kivu (2) and Ituri (3) and reached 39,737 children under 59 months.
• On 24th April, UNICEF and World Health Organization signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the survivors’ follow-up to support the National Programme for Survivors.
• UNICEF, jointly with PRONANUT, conducted a nutrition evaluation in 13 Internally Displaced Persons’ sites located in Mandima (1), Mabalako (9) and Beni (4) health zones. The result was alarming among children and pregnant and breastfeeding women as the Global Acute Malnutrition rate was of 18% including 11% of Severe Acute Malnutrition out of a total of 185 children aged 6 to 59 months.
During the reporting period, four new cases were reported in Beni, all related to the first one. In a tensed climate marked by pressure groups demonstrations in Beni city center and moto taxis groups stopping the response workers during a transfer to the ETC, one confirmed case fled and remained unfound. The persistent threats against the response teams in some areas are preventing full access to all contacts but CAC were very active and supported the teams in finding contacts, conducting the decontaminations and facilitating vaccination of contacts and contacts of contacts.
On 24th April, UNICEF and WHO signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the implementation of the National Programme for Survivors. This strategic document outlines the activities that will be implemented by both agencies and clarifies the responsibilities of each. Five clinics will be dedicated to the survivors’ follow-up in Beni, Butembo, Goma, Mambasa and Mangina where the survivors are the most numerous.
UNICEF will lead the psychosocial support to survivors and will focus (i) on providing nutritional care to children under 24 months and medical care for children under 15 and, (ii) on ensuring their follow up in clinics and in their respective communities. One of UNICEF main objectives will be to avoid the survivors’ stigmatization both in health centers and communities by raising awareness among health care personnel and involving the CAC members at community-level. It is worth noting that the 1,162th survivors was discharged from the ETC during the reporting period.
In Butembo, from 20 to 26 April, UNICEF supported the measles campaign with briefing and mentoring of the health personnel but also by providing posters. In total, in six days, 4,429 children were vaccinated against measles in three health areas of Mangurejipa health zone (Liboyo, Mama Wa Huruma and Mangurejipa). This vaccination took place during the African Vaccination Week and was coupled with a recuperation exercice during which the CAC set up by UNICEF played a key role as they supported the health personnel in identifying the children that were not yet vaccinated.
In Mabalako, the vaccination occurred in four health areas (Linzo, Bingo, Mabalako et Aloya) from 20 to 25 April and 19,355 children were vaccinated.
In Ituri, the insecurity due to the ongoing conflict in Mahagi, Djugu and Irumu provoked a new wave of population displacements to Bunia and fueled heightened tensions between the Lendu and Hema ethnies. Despite this critical situation, three health zones were covered by the vaccination campaign: Mambasa, Mandima and Lolwa. In Mambasa, where 11 health areas were targeted, 5,955 children were vaccinated. In Lolwa, 3,434 were vaccinated and, in Mandima, despite ongoing insecurity in Biakato and Lwemba areas, 6,564 were vaccinated representing 90,2 % of the initial target.