An outbreak of rabies has killed at least 11 displaced people in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and African media reports that thousands are at risk.

Dogs are the main source of the rabies in the conflict-torn North Kivu Province where a lack of capacity to respond to the disease has been noted.

While there are rabies vaccine stock in the province, authorities say it is impossible to mobilize it.

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The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says with 1.9 million people who were newly displaced in 2017, DR Congo is home to 4.3 million internally displaced people, making it the African country with the highest number of displaced persons. On the health front, 2017 recorded the worst cholera epidemic of the past 15 years with over 55,000 cases and more than 1,000 deaths; over 42,000 measles were also recorded in 2017. Food and nutrition experts estimate that 7.7 million persons are food insecure, a 30 per cent increase from the previous year. 12 months ago, humanitarian actors aimed to provide 7.1 million people with humanitarian assistance in the DRC, today that figure stands at 10.5 million.

DRC map
Democratic Republic of the Congo/CIA