A mother comforts her child after being vaccinated against measles.
We parents do not know how to defend ourselves against this disease,
that’s why I wanted him to get the vaccine so his body can develop immunity.
DRC’s government and the World Health Organization launched the third phase
of the measles immunization campaign this week.
The goal is to reach nearly 19 million people by the end of the year.
This campaign is meant to deal with the disease that is ravaging our children.
Protecting against measles goes beyond just immunizing children against this disease,
says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s global immunization official.
But for many years we’ve seen globally that
children who survived measles have higher mortality rates than
children who have never gotten measles.
And so we’ve always suspected that measles is doing something to the immune system
that is much more than just the consequences from measles infection.
WHO says insecurity in some areas like North Kevo makes vaccination more difficult
for the more than two million people to be immunized in this round.
Eastern Congo is also facing growing civil unrest.
Peaceful demonstrations turned violent in Magenta in Goma
when a police officer shot and killed a 13-year old student.
We’re angry because we’re being killed like animals.
Our children go to school but come back dead.
We are killed in our homes.
Do you hear me, it’s policeman it’s their peace.
In 2018 measles hit hardest in Liberia,Ukraine,DRC,Madagascar and Somalia,
WHO said, accounting for nearly half of all cases worldwide.
Earlier this year, Dr.Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health warned that
a decline in measles vaccination
is causing a preventable global resurgence of the highly infectious disease.
One in 10 children who get infected with measles
will get an ear infection that could cause deafness.
One in 20 would get pneumonia,
one in a thousand would get brain swelling
what we call encephalitis and one two three per thousand would die,
according to WHO the measles situation for 2019
is even worse with provisional data through the month of November,
showing a three-fold increase in case numbers compared with the same period in 2018.
Mariama Diallo VOA news Washington