Thanks to vaccination, the recorded cases of diseases, such as polio and measles, have drastically diminished in the past 40 years, praised Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General, in his opening remarks at the Global Vaccination Summit in Brussels this week.
But all is not optimal among African countries, where routine immunization programmes are missing millions of children every year. Deaths from measles, for example, Dr Tedros told the 400 vaccine experts, academics and health ministers attending the Summit, have now exceeded deaths from Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
In an editorial that appeared that same morning with a similar headline in the British Telegraph, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, noted that the measles epidemic in the DRC, at 165,203 suspected cases as of 31 August, is the world’s largest and fastest-moving outbreak. Every one of the country’s 26 provinces has reported cases of measles and is battling to control the outbreak. “Far too many children in Africa are still not accessing the vaccines they need,” Dr Moeti wrote….more