A measles epidemic has been declared in DR Congo. The country’s Health Ministry says it has recorded 87 thousand suspected cases since the start of the year.

Cases of measles have now been reported in 23 of DR Congo’s 26 provinces, both in urban and rural areas. Measles, while highly contagious, is preventable with the right vaccines.

The disease has repeatedly flared in the country in recent years due to poor infrastructure, insecurity and an under-equipped public health system.

So far, measles is believed to have killed more than one thousand people since the beginning of the year with children under five being the most affected.

Sources within the country’s vaccination programme say they are raising funds to organise a preventive vaccination campaign to stop the spread of the virus to unaffected areas.

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