Médecins sans frontières in the DRC is concerned about several ongoing epidemics in the country. There is a lot of talk about Ebola, tens of millions are being mobilized, and yet measles – for example – is now killing more people (more than 3,500).
All international attention and the resources of the Congolese Ministry of Health are being mobilized to stem the spread of Ebola. However, since June, MSF has been alerting the authorities about the extent of the measles epidemic in three health centres around the city of Goma, known as a “red alert”.
More than three months later, the government and WHO promise a vaccination campaign, but until then, MSF is getting some 80,000 children vaccinated with its own resources, including vaccines.
Tristan le Lonquer is MSF’s coordinator in North Kivu: “The fact that the Ebola epidemic persists means that the Ministry’s resources are monopolized or monopolized by the response to Ebola disease, and this is at the expense of routine vaccinations and then the response to other epidemics.” Like measles or malaria.
What also weighs on the Congolese health system is that some of its managers have either been reassigned or poached by the response to Ebola, attracted by better salaries.