More than a million people to be vaccinated in phase 2 of a huge cholera vaccination campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

DRC – Cholera

More than a million people to be vaccinated in phase 2 of a huge cholera vaccination campaign in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
MBUJI-MAYI / GENEVA, 3 JULY 2019 — Phase 2 of the biggest ever oral vaccination campaign against cholera is scheduled to take place from 3-8 July 2019 in 15 health districts in the four central provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) – Kasaï, Kasaï Oriental, Lomami et Sankuru. The second dose of vaccine confers lasting immunity against cholera, and is being targeted at 1,235,972 people over 1 year of age. The 5-day, door-to-door campaign will involve 2632 vaccinators recruited mainly from local communities, whose job it is to administer the oral cholera vaccine, fill in vaccination cards and tally sheets, and compile a daily summary of the teams’ progress.

In parallel, 583 community mobilizers have been selected – 1 mobilizer for every 3 teams in urban areas and 1 mobilizer for every 2 teams in rural districts. Their job is to alert local people that vaccinators will visit their homes. They will use loudspeakers to spread the message, particularly in the early evening. The campaign is organized by the Ministry of Health with technical, logistic and financial support from WHO, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and the Global Task Force on Cholera Control (GTFCC). It is the second such campaign in this central region of the DRC. 1,224,331 people over 1 year of age were vaccinated during the first round in late December 2018. The purpose of the vaccination campaign is to contain the serious epidemic which resulted in 9154 presumed cases and 458 deaths (case-fatality rate of 5%) in the 5 affected provinces in Kasaï region between January and December 2018.

This cholera vaccination campaign marks the intensification of our response in the DRC,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, “WHO and our partners are working with national authorities to rollout the vaccine, which comes in addition to multiple interventions introduced since the beginning of the cholera epidemic, including sanitation and water quality control in the affected areas, many of which have little access to a safe water supply.”

Right now, with the second dose, the preventive campaign for which 1,235,972 doses of oral vaccine have been laid in will ensure coverage of all at-risk areas in this central region of the DRC. The vaccines have been provided from global cholera vaccine stocks managed by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “This vaccination campaign will play a key role in bringing this cholera outbreak under control,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi. “The DRC is currently going through an unprecedented combination of deadly epidemics, with Ebola and measles outbreaks also causing untold misery across the country. It is vital that the global effort to control these outbreaks continues to receive support: we cannot allow this needless suffering to continue.”…