Merlin has helped vaccinate more than one million children against measles over just one week across seven provinces in North Kivu, DR Congo. In a country where health systems are weak, sadly people often die from easily preventable diseases such as measles. Vaccination programmes can greatly improve the health of vulnerable people and help tackle the spread of deadly diseases.
“Measles kills, especially amidst insecurity. But this can and must be avoided,” said Dr. Félix Kabange Numbi, Minister of Public Health in DR Congo. “We know that vaccinations can save children’s lives.”
Since the Goma conflict flared up in November last year, people’s lives, especially those of children have been at great risk. People have been forced to flee their homes, often without any food or money. To make matters worse, diseases such as measles, diarrhoea, flu and malaria have spread quickly throughout North Kivu taking the lives of many.
According to UNICEF, measles outbreaks were reported in all 11 provinces of the DR Congo and over 2,000 children died from the disease in 2012. The fighting in 2012 caused measles cases to be six times higher than the previous year.
Determined and undaunted since the beginning of the crisis, Merlin worked fast to set up mobile health clinics in camps providing life-saving care for internally displaced people. Each day, Merlin health workers have been treating up to 170 patients for diseases such as malaria, diarrhoea and respiratory infections in DR Congo. We are also screening and treating children for malnutrition.
Without your help, we wouldn't have been able to give the urgent care that thousands of people in DR Congo need. Your help will save lives. To help us ensure vulnerable people in DR Congo are protected from preventable diseases, please donate today.
*facts from this article have been based on information from http://www.unicef.org/media/media_67678.html