AFRICA/CENTRAL AFRICAN REPUBLIC - 68 thousand children vaccinated against measles in the IDP camps in Bangui

Friday, 17 January 2014

Bangui (Agenzia Fides) - Extreme violence in the capital of the Central African Republic continues.
Attacks, lynchings, looting and reprisals happen every day. One hundred thousand displaced persons live in the M'Poko camp, near the airport in Bangui.
They are forced to leave their homes because of the violence that is rampant although recently a shootout at the airport caused the death of two children. The only medical organization in this camp is Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) that in addition to treating the wounded, has launched a vaccination campaign against measles for 68 000 children to prevent an epidemic in the various camps for displaced persons in the capital of the Central African Republic.
The campaign regards more than 25 000 children in the Don Bosco and Boy Rabe camps, 40 thousand in the camp of Mpoko and 3000 in the camps in Bangui. The campaign is aimed at children between 6 months and 15 years of age, representing 40 % of the total population living in camps. Measles is highly contagious and is easily and quickly transmitted through coughing, sneezing or close contact. In crowded environments such as the camps in Bangui, the risk of transmission is even greater. Complications are common and include severe respiratory infections, diarrhea, dehydration and encephalitis. Measles can also cause ear infections and blindness. Children, especially those malnourished, are particularly vulnerable to contracting the disease. According to MSF, operators monitor even young children under five years of age due to malnutrition, treating severe cases and transferring the most serious to specialized centers. In the clinic 500 people are visited every day. Another team is working at the hospital in Bangui. Patients arrive with machete and stab wounds. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 17/01/2014)