The Democratic Republic of the Congo introduces life-saving vaccine
4 April 2011 - In an effort to drastically improve the chances of children reaching their fifth birthday, the Democratic Republic of the Congo today stepped up its immunization programme by including vaccines to combat pneumonia. Initially, the vaccine will be introduced in two of the 11 provinces. The country's First Lady Olive Lembe Kabila and Minister of Health Victor Makwenge Kaput are joining parents and health workers in Kinshasa to witness the first child being immunized as part of the official introduction of pneumococcal vaccine into the national immunization programme.
Pneumonia is the most common form of serious pneumococcal disease and accounts for 18% of child deaths in developing countries, making it one of the leading causes of death among young children. “The introduction of the pneumococcal vaccine and the systematic immunization could save the life of many children dying from acute respiratory infectious diseases in this country”, said Dr Léodégal Bazira, acting WHO Representative in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.