One Killed as Polio Team Vaccinates Children in Eastern DR Congo
A medical team in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has vaccinated three million children against polio, local radio reported late Tuesday, adding that one worker was killed in the operation.
Continued unrest in the rebel-held region has hampered efforts to reach children in Equateur Province, where a worker had his throat slit, Kininga Mba, the top health official of the rebel Congolese Rally for Democracy (RCD), said on the radio.
The victim was killed by Hutu extremists from neighboring Rwanda on the outskirts of the city of Ubundu where he was trying to persuade parents to have their children vaccinated, the RCD health department said.
Nearly all children under five out of 3.2 million targetted have received the anti-polio vaccine in northern Kasai Oriental and Occidental provinces, North and South Kivu provinces, and northern Katanga, Maniema and Orientale provinces, Kininga said.
Chaibou N'Charre, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Goma, the RCD headquarters, said the results of the first phase, July 5-9, were "more than satisfactory, if you consider the very difficult conditions in which the vaccination teams were working, some covering 150 to 200 kilometers (90 to 125 miles) on foot, carrying their vaccination kits on their heads." - GOMA, DR Congo (AFP)
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