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Congo measles epidemic: 'every child' to get vaccinated
by Staff Writers
Brazzaville (AFP) June 20, 2011

Congo aims to vaccinate every child in its second largest city after a measles outbreak killed 32 people, health officials said Monday.

A major campaign will be launched Wednesday in Pointe-Noire in the south where a further 800 fell ill in the epidemic.

"It's an intensive, month-long vaccination campaign. It's not a standard or routine campaign," said programme official Dr Hermann Boris Didi-Ngossaki.

"It's going to target every child," in Pointe-Noire and the neighbouring Kouilou region, he said.

"The vaccination of every child aged between six and eight months will be obligatory."

The medic said there had been no change in the number of cases since the toll up to June 14 was released last Friday.

The following day, director general for health Alexis Elira Dokekias told AFP the first cases were recorded in December but had been overlooked due to a polio epidemic in the same area which left 220 dead between October and February.

Didi-Ngossaki said the resurgence of measles in Congo, which officials say had previously not seen a case since 2008, was down to poor vaccination coverage, particularly in Pointe-Noire where the programme was badly organised in recent years.

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