Millions vaccinated in record yellow fever campaign
From JEAN KASSONGO in Kinshasa, DRC
KINSHASA, (CAJ News) – THE largest emergency vaccination campaign against yellow fever ever attempted in Africa has been completed, with more than 7,7 million people vaccinated in record time in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo.
The campaign is to eliminate the deadly fever, which has claimed more than 400 lives in the country and neighbouring Angola since the beginning of the year.
Over 1 000 people were struck by the disease.
In less than two weeks, the campaign successfully reached the targeted population of Kinshasa, most of them using an emergency vaccine.
Planning a mass vaccination campaign on this scale usually takes up to six months.
This complex and ambitious emergency campaign was put in place in a matter of weeks to end transmission of yellow fever before the rainy season starts in September.
The dose sparing strategy required the purchase and shipment of 10 million specialized syringes as well as specific training of more than 40 000 vaccinators to use this new method.
The Ministry of Public Health, World Health Organisation and more than 50 global partners, worked closely through the complex planning and logistics needed to roll out the campaign in more than 8 000 locations across the country.
Over the next few weeks, vaccination teams will complete the campaign in remote border regions and reaching people at risk who may have missed out on vaccination.
In Angola, vaccination campaigns are ongoing, with an estimated 3 million people vaccinated since mid-August.
Yellow fever is an acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
– CAJ News
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