Immunizing against measles in the Central African Republic
Immunizing children against measles is a priority in the Central African Republic. In January 2014, more than 115 000 children aged 6 months to 15 years were vaccinated in health centres across the country by national health workers with support from WHO, the International Red Cross and partners.
As of 2012, of every 100 children born in the country, 13 died before their fifth birthday. Measles can kill up to 1 in 25 children affected with the disease, and remains a public health problem in the Central African Republic. People, therefore, welcomed the vaccination campaign.
This photo essay depicts a 3-day vaccination campaign rolled out in January 2014 from a health centre in Guitangola, in the district of the national capital of Bangui.
Dr Depassem works at the Guitangola Health Centre in Bangui, capital of the Central African Republic. This is one of the sites of the vaccination campaign organized by WHO, the Red Cross and other partners. Dr Depassem speaks with a WHO colleague about people’s commitment to vaccinate their children.
While insecurity related to the ongoing conflict in the Central African Republic continues to pose challenges for accessing health services, hundreds of families queue up at the centre to have their children vaccinated against measles.
Children inside the health centre give their names to the doctor on duty to be registered before vaccination.
Little Germaine is registered by a health worker before she is vaccinated. She is one of nearly 115 000 children reached during the campaign.
A WHO expert supervising the campaign checks the quality of the vaccine before it is administered to a child.
Little Nadège receives the vaccine. She is now protected against measles.
Outside the health centre, Ernest proudly shows his vaccination card to the WHO supervisor as his mother beams with satisfaction.
A team of vaccinators from the International Red Cross work alongside WHO and national health workers to reach as many children as possible during the campaign.
WHO works around the clock to protect children in hard-to-reach areas of Bangui district against this potentially deadly childhood disease.