Democratic Republic of Congo has ended the world’s largest measles outbreak that has killed more than 7,000 children since it was declared 14 months ago.
Congo’s response to the epidemic was hobbled by a health service suffering from decades of underfunding, mismanagement and war, but was also overshadowed by an Ebola outbreak in the east of the country.
According to health experts, the actual measles death toll could be far higher because many cases go unreported in a country with such poor health infrastructure.
health minister Eteni Longondo in a chat with journalists in the capital, Kinshasa, said, “After several strategies mounted at the ministry level, we have just put an end to this epidemic.”
Longondo said an official declaration would be made soon.
Congo has simultaneously battled measles, polio, cholera, coronavirus, two distinct Ebola epidemics and the bubonic plague, in the last year.
The health minister said, “The measles epidemic was quietly progressing but was the most deadly.”
The measles virus, contracted when a carrier coughs or sneezes, causes a rash to spread across the body.