GENEVA, May 27 (Xinhua) -- A major cholera vaccination campaign has started in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to cover more than 800,000 people, as over 10,000 cholera cases and more than 240 deaths have been reported in the country since January, the World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday.
The campaign has been launched in North Kivu province in the eastern part of the DRC, which is also the epicenter of the ongoing Ebola outbreak, according to the WHO.
The cholera vaccination campaign will be implemented by the DRC Ministry of Health with support from the WHO and partners, and funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. A total of 835,183 people will be vaccinated by June 1, 2019.
The campaign will administer the first of two doses of oral cholera vaccine (OCV) to people. Following successful implementation, a campaign to administer the second dose will take place at a later stage to provide full protection against cholera.
According to WHO statistics, since January 2019, over 10,000 cases of cholera have been reported in the country, leading to more than 240 deaths.
"Cholera is a preventable disease. Vaccinating people at risk in the most exposed health zones in North Kivu against cholera is a massive contribution and will protect hundreds of thousands of people against the disease and raise population immunity levels in these areas," said Dr. Deo Nshimirimana, acting WHO representative in the DRC.