Submit this form
Home News Videos Music Photos Facebook Twitter Friends Newsletter Podcasts Mobile RSS
Vaccination of 10 million children against polio begins

KINSHASA, 13 Sep 2005 (IRIN) - Local health authorities and UNICEF launched a drive on Monday to vaccinate 10 million children against polio in six provinces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) bordering Angola, Health Minister Emile Bongeli said.

"Those provinces are threatened by a wild polio virus that has been detected in the neighbouring country. In DRC, we have already almost managed to eradicate the disease," Bongeli said in Kinshasa, the nation's capital.

The vaccination drive is also to take place in two provinces in the north, bordering the Central African Republic and Sudan, where cases of polio have been registered.

On 22 September, the vaccination effort will be launched in the southern part of the country and carried through to the north. The head of the nation's vaccination programme, Dr Jean-Marie Muya Mbayo, said the last case of the wild polio virus in the DRC was detected in 2000.

The representative of the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the DRC, Anthony Bloomberg, said vaccination campaigns would have to be carried out until all the natural habitats of the wild polio virus disappear. "We have to be vigilant," he said. "Otherwise this disease and others that had been eradicated during the colonial period will reappear."

Some diseases that had been eradicated in the 1960s, like sleeping sickness and river blindness, began to reappear in Congo 10 years ago. Two successive wars, lasting more than eight years, and the destruction of health facilities have contributed to this resurgence.

UNICEF says donors have granted the DRC US $16 million for the current vaccination campaign against polio and measles, as well as for a vitamin A supplement to be administered to all the children who have been vaccinated. Giving vitamin A supplements and treating children against intestinal parasites will help lessen the impact of malnutrition, Bongeli said.

At least 8,000 Congolese children are victims of polio. Most cases occurred in the 1980s and 1990s, especially in the diamond-mining region of Kasai.

Related articles

  1. ICC Case Against Bemba Wrapping Up as Another Opens (November 12, 2014)
  2. Kerry in DR Congo for Security Talks (May 3, 2014)
  3. Regional Leaders Sign DR Congo Peace Deal (February 24, 2013)
  4. LRA rebel leader Joseph Kony target of viral campaign video (March 7, 2012)
  5. UN, AU vow to eradicate Ugandan rebel group LRA in 2012 (January 5, 2012)
  6. Obama Sends Troops to Help Fight the LRA (October 14, 2011)
  7. Jean-Pierre Bemba Could Be Kingmaker in DR Congo Presidential Election (September 30, 2011)
  8. UN envoy tells Security Council of improving security, remaining threats (June 9, 2011)
  9. Rights Groups: Strengthen Civilian Protection Before Elections (June 9, 2011)
  10. Opposition Party Ousts Leader Ahead of Elections (April 21, 2011)
  11. Great Lakes Regional Summit to Focus on Congo Resource Exploitation (December 15, 2010)
  12. US President Barack Obama outlines plan to defeat Ugandan LRA rebels (November 25, 2010)
  13. Bemba Supporters Say War Crimes Trial is Political (November 23, 2010)
  14. Jean-Pierre Bemba War Crimes Trial Begins Monday (November 21, 2010)
  15. ICC: Ruling on the detention of Jean-Pierre Bemba to be reviewed (November 19, 2010)
  16. ICC Dismisses Jean-Pierre Bemba's Appeal on Admissibility of His Case (October 19, 2010)
  17. Four African nations crack down on LRA (October 16, 2010)
  18. LRA: UNHCR relocates 1,500 refugees from CAR to the DRC (August 24, 2010)
  19. Report: Uganda LRA rebels 'on massive forced recruitment drive' (August 12, 2010)
  20. ICC: Jean-Pierre Bemba trial postponed (July 7, 2010)
  21. Report Says Uganda's Elusive LRA Rebel Almost Caught Last Year (June 24, 2010)
  22. The ICC signs enforcement agreements with Belgium, Denmark, and Finland (June 1, 2010)
  23. U.S. Official Sees Improvement in Africa's Great Lakes Region (May 26, 2010)
  24. Great Lakes regional body calls for free, fair elections in member states (May 23, 2010)
  25. Great Lakes states meet in Uganda over conflict minerals (May 23, 2010)
  26. Behind Human Rights Watch Report on LRA, a Plea for MONUC to Remain in the Congo (March 29, 2010)
  27. New strategy needed against LRA in DR Congo, says UN chief (March 28, 2010)
  28. Reports That LRA's Kony is Hiding in Darfur Alarm South Sudan (March 19, 2010)
  29. ICC: Jean-Pierre Bemba trial postponed (March 8, 2010)
  30. First set of UN troops could leave DR Congo by late June (March 6, 2010)

Live TV Congo Radio en ligne Radio
Available on App Store
Get it on Google Play

Contact Us | About Us | Édition en Français | French Edition

© All rights reserved.