Measles has killed at least 1 500 people in DRC since the beginning of this year.

Most of the victims are children under five.

A measles epidemic has since been declared in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The country’s health ministry says it has recorded 87 000 suspected cases since the start of the year.

Cases of measles have now been reported in 23 of DR Congo’s 26 provinces, both in urban and rural areas.

Measles, while highly contagious, is preventable with the right vaccines.

However, the disease has repeatedly flared in the country in recent years due to poor infrastructure, insecurity and an under-equipped public health system.

The health ministry declared the epidemic on Monday.

Sources within the country’s vaccination programme said they are currently raising funds to organise a preventive vaccination campaign to stop the spread of the virus to unaffected areas.

More than two million children were vaccinated against measles in April and another 1.4 million are being targeted by a campaign that will start in the next few days in health zones with measles cases.

In a statement, medical charity Doctors Without Borders warned this measles epidemic might be the country’s deadliest since the disease’s strong resurgence in 2011-2012.