1. Home
  2. Africa
  3. East Africa
  4. Congo, Republic of

Remote communities targeted for vaccination

A group of indigenous people outside a hut in the forest of Impfondo. Impfondo is located at least 800 km north of the capital Brazzaville. Communities living in remote areas often lack access to social services such as healthcare are often left out in di
(Laudes Martial Mbon/IRIN)

A vaccination campaign has been launched to target indigenous communities in Enyelle District, Likouala Department, northern Republic of Congo (ROC), an NGO source has said.

The indigenous communities, sometimes called pygmies, often lack access to basic social services.

"The action that we are going to be carrying out in the forests of Enyelle will help remote populations in their environment," said Rino Martinez, head of the Italian NGO Ali Per Volare, which will be conducting the campaign.

The first phase of the campaign targeting children under five and pregnant women will be conducted from 3 to 9 February and the second from 17 to 23 February in eight villages in Enyelle.

The campaign seeks to control diseases such as diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, poliomyelitis, meningitis and pertussis (whooping cough).

"We are mainly targeting indigenous people because they are neglected, but the Bantu [communities] who live with them will equally be covered [in the campaign]," Hilaire Massengo of the government’s expanded programme on immunisation told IRIN.

The region of Likouala lies on the border with the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) - hence the need for vaccination to protect against the cross-border spread of the wild Polio virus from the DRC, he said.

Some 5,000 children will also be dewormed and provided with Vitamin A supplements, while a further 2,000 will receive treated bed nets for malaria control. Malaria is the leading cause of death in children younger than five in the ROC.

Many more indigenous people are affected by leprosy and yaws (bacterial infection resembling syphilis) in the department, according to the Congolese government.

Indigenous people constitute about 10 percent of ROC's population of about 3.6 million and are found in almost all regions of the country, but civil society organisations say their access to education and health are limited.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article
Join the discussion

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.