Hunger, measles, cholera, and conflict: Ebola not the only killer ravaging Congo

4 July, 2019

Extracts below from a news article in The New Humanitarian. Full text here: https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/news/2019/07/03/hunger-measles-choler...

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Hunger, measles, cholera, and conflict: Ebola not the only killer ravaging Congo

‘The real issue is the fact that these populations have seen cycles of displacement for decades.’

As the Democratic Republic of Congo grapples with the second deadliest Ebola outbreak in history, aid groups say a host of other emergencies – from renewed conflict and mass displacement to health epidemics like measles and cholera – are being neglected despite mounting humanitarian needs...

Alongside the Ebola outbreak that has now killed more than 1,500 people and dominated news from Congo, an outbreak of measles has claimed 1,879 lives, at least 276 have died due to cholera, and hundreds of thousands have been displaced by renewed and ongoing conflict...

But violent conflicts have continued across the country’s eastern provinces of Ituri, North Kivu, and South Kivu, where Congolese militias and rebel groups from Burundi and Rwanda are engaged in deadly turf wars amplified by regional tensions between the different Great Lakes countries...

Before the Ebola epidemic began, health workers were giving measles vaccinations twice a week in all health facilities in North Kivu, according to Stephane Bateyi Mustafa, measles vaccination coordinator for the province.

“When Ebola arrived, a lot of health workers began working in the [Ebola] response,” Mustafa said. “The frequency [of vaccinations] diminished and a lot of children were not vaccinated.”...

Alongside measles, the survey found that people are mainly dying from malaria and diarrhoea...

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Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG neil@hifa.org