Red Cross says Congo polio situation "dire"
A polio outbreak in the Republic of Congo has killed 128 people and left 280 paralysed, the Red Cross said Tuesday in an appeal to donors for 1.5 million dollars, dpa reported.
"The situation is dire and we are very concerned as the epidemic is spreading at an unprecedented rate. Swift action is needed," Christian Sedar Ndinga, the head of the Congolese Red Cross, said in a statement.
The government declared a national emergency on November 9 and announced plans to vaccinate the entire population against polio.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, based in Geneva, said it was sending teams to the central African nation to help with the developing situation.
The outbreak of the highly infectious disease that affects the nervous system is the first reported by Republic of Congo in a decade.