KINSHASA - More than 5,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have died of measles so far this year, and practically all of them are children under the age of five, says the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF.

The UNICEF Representative in DRC, Edouard Beigbeder, released a statement on Wednesday, citing violence and insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, and a shortage of vaccines and medical kits, as some of the reasons for the high death toll.

Cultural beliefs and traditional health care practices, said Mr Beigbeder, also contribute to children not getting the vaccinations, and other treatment, they need.