DR Congo battles five diseases

The United Nations children’s agency (Unicef) says the Democratic Republic of Congo’s healthcare system needs urgent support or children’s futures will be destroyed.

The vast, conflict-ridden country is struggling to cope with five deadly diseases – malaria, measles, cholera, coronavirus and ebola.

Last year, 16.5 million malaria cases were reported in DR Congo. It suffered the world’s worst measles epidemic, which killed thousands of children under five.

Cholera is endemic – there were more than 30,000 cases last year.

DR Congo is also trying to contain an outbreak of Ebola disease in the country’s east, where dozens of militias operate and one million people have been displaced.

And now there’s Covid-19. Although the number of cases is relatively low, there are fears of a catastrophe if it takes off.

Unicef has called on the government of this mineral-rich country to allocate more resources to the failing health system.

If not, it says, the lives of many Congolese children will be destroyed by preventable diseases.




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