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Angola's yellow fever death toll rises amid global vaccine shortage

Angola's yellow fever death toll rises amid global vaccine shortage

Angola

Angola is grappling with its worst yellow fever outbreak in over three decades with a death toll of more than 200 people so far.

According to the country’s Health Minister Luis Sambo, the death toll of the latest outbreak has climbed to 225 and 1600 cases have been recorded. All but two of Angola’s 18 provinces have reported yellow fever suspected cases.

The Southern African country lies in the yellow fever belt of Africa. Most of the deaths and cases have been reported in the country’s capital Luanda, where the outbreak began late last year. 

As of end of March 5.7 million people were vaccinated in the country’s capital. Nevertheless, WHO has raised concerns of depletion of its emergency stockpiles of the vaccine.

“Whilst concerted efforts are being made to stop the outbreak, there is a global vaccine shortage, with the emergency stockpile completely depleted. An additional 1.5 million doses are needed to vaccinate the population at risk in Luanda province alone,” WHO said in a statement

Even so, WHO is in talks with manufacturers and partners to send shipments of vaccines for national routine immunization programmes until the emergency stockpile is replenished.

There is no cure for Yellow fever which is transmitted by the aedes egypti mosquito and vaccination is highly recommended for preventing the disease. Symptoms include severe headache, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has taken urgent action to contain the outbreak by vaccinating people in the affected provinces. The organisation is working together with the government to control this outbreak with a widespread vaccination campaign.

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