DRC 2010 © Haavar Karlsen
Fizi healthzone, South Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo, November 14, 2010. /n<br/>/nIn South Kivu, MSF is running a mass immunization campaign in Fizi health zone that aims to vaccinate 120,000 children between the ages of 6 months and 15 years against measles over a period of six weeks. This would represent over 90% vaccination coverage for the health zone. Preparations started after a measles epidemic was confirmed at the end of September. Since then MSF has treated around 300 people suffering from measles and its complications. Measles is a highly contagious viral infection which can spread through susceptible populations quickly and can have deadly consequences. Epidemics like these are avoidable if the population has been vaccinated. Mass immunization campaigns are so important because they raise the level of vaccination coverage and prevent unnecessary deaths. In 2009 alone, MSF vaccinated more than half a million children against measles in the Democratic Republic of Congo.