Red Cross continues yellow fever prevention and control work in communities across Angola and Democratic Republic of the Congo

Published: 31 August 2016

Geneva/Nairobi, 31 August 2016. Thousands of Red Cross staff and volunteers are continuing to work in communities across Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, encouraging and supporting immunization against yellow fever and measures to prevent and control the spread of the disease.

“The rainy season is just around the corner, which is prime breeding time for mosquitoes that carry yellow fever and other deadly viruses,” said Dr Julie Hall, Health Director for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Africa. “Our teams will continue fanning out across the two countries to promote vaccination to people at risk and not yet immunized, to disseminate messages on how families can protect themselves from infection, and to step up efforts to detect and eliminate mosquito breeding grounds.”

In the weeks ahead, Dr Hall said, Red Cross teams will be working with local communities to increase surveillance and the speedy referral of suspect cases.

Angola’s yellow fever outbreak began in December 2015, and has since been contracted by close to 4,000 people, resulting in 369 deaths. The outbreak has spread to neighbouring Democratic Republic of the Congo, where more than 2,400 suspected cases have been reported, and 75 cases have been confirmed, with 57 of those confirmed cases imported from Angola.

National Red Cross Societies in Angola and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, supported by the IFRC, are working closely with partners to support a series of mass yellow fever vaccination campaigns that have so far immunized nearly 20 million people in the two countries. The preventive vaccination campaigns aim to protect high risk communities from becoming infected and help contain the outbreak.

More than 4,200 Red Cross trained volunteers are trekking through villages, attending community meetings and hitting the airwaves to promote the campaign. Volunteers are helping to transport people to vaccination posts and are managing crowds at vaccination centres.

People who are infected with yellow fever develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever and nausea. The virus can attack vital organs and, in this outbreak, has led to the deaths of approximately 20 per cent of those infected. There is no cure, but vaccination can protect against infection.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil­lion people each year through its 190 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit You can also connect with us on FacebookTwitterYouTube and Flickr.

For further information, please contact:

In Nairobi:

Katherine Mueller, IFRC communications manager, Africa
Mobile: +254 731 688 613 Email: Twitter: @IFRCAfrica

In Geneva:

Benoit Carpentier, IFRC team leader, public communications
Mobile: +41 79 213 2413  Email: Twitter:@BenoistC

Reeni Amin Chua, IFRC senior communications officer
Mobile: +41 79 708 6273 Email: