The worst measles epidemic since 2011 continues to ravage Katanga Province in southern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). While vaccinations have made measles very rare in Western countries, it remains fatal for unprotected populations, especially children.
Here, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical coordinator Dr. Louis Albert Massing discusses the situation:
The collapse of national health systems in the wake of the Ebola outbreak in west Africa has resulted in a significant reduction in routine vaccination activities. In Montserrado County, Liberia, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) recently conducted a measles vaccination campaign with adapted safety protocols.
Following an outbreak in eastern Chad, MSF is currently vaccinating children between six months and 15 years against measles. As a nurse, Lenny Krommenhoek was part of this vaccination team for five weeks. Following her recent return, she wrote about the enormous logistical challenges she faced during her mission and her very personal experience in this remote part of the world.
Over the past 18 months, MSF has vaccinated more than 500,000 children in a continuing campaign against measles in some of the most inaccessible areas of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). MSF nurse Jessica Nestrell is coordinating the vaccination campaign.