Authorities in DRC to embark on nationwide yellow fever vaccination campaign

A boy is vaccinated against yellow fever by MSF staff in a school in Matadi.

The Democratic Republic of Congo says it will begin a campaign next month to vaccinate 11.6 million people against Yellow Fever. This comes in the wake of an epidemic in the capital, Kinshasa.

Health Minister Felix Kabange said the aim was to cover everyone in the capital Kinshasa and the provinces of Kwango, Lualaba and Kasai, except children under nine months.

Kabange, last week declared a yellow fever epidemic in three provinces of the central African country, a move was necessitated by the fact that the country had recorded 67 cases of the disease with five deaths. The affected provinces include the capital Kinshasa, Kongo Central and Kwango.

Meanwhile international medical group ‘Doctors Without Borders’ have reported that it had vaccinated some 350,000 people in Matadi, capital of Congo Central, one of the affected provinces.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently revealed that due to diminishing vaccine stocks, one-fifth of the original dose could be administered in the case of emergency.

In May this year, a mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever kicked off in the DRC, following an outbreak, the campaign financed by Gavi-Alliance targeted about 2 million people in the zones lying at the border with neighbouring Angola.

Susan Mwongeli reports.