Africa

In pictures: Yellow fever vaccination in DR Congo's capital Kinshasa

How do you protect millions of people from a deadly disease in the space of a few weeks?

That has been the challenge after a yellow fever outbreak has killed more than 400 people in Angola and neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo.

Photographer Tommy Trenchard has been following the 10-day campaign in the Congolese capital, Kinshasa.

young girl with rolled up sleeve receives jab Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption Eight-year-old Yungi was among the first to receive the vaccination at one of the hundreds of stations set up across the city.
bottles of vaccine in plastic medical bags Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption A worldwide shortage of the vaccine, which takes up to 18 months to produce, has forced those behind the campaign to improvise...
nurse clenches small bottle of vaccine as she draws out liquid with a syringe Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption ...so nurses have been giving people one-fifth doses of the vaccine. This smaller dose still provides protection from yellow fever for a year, but not for life, as with a full dose. This emergency approach is backed by the World Health Organization.
young girl with large dark-brown eyes looks into the camera, with her grandmother sitting next to her Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption Vaccination cards are handed out documenting that people have received the smaller dose, so that they can receive the full one when supplies are replenished.
Man taking containers of vaccine out of the fridge Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption With limited supplies of yellow fever vaccine, every vial is precious. They have to be handled with care and kept cold at all times, a challenge in a country where daytime temperatures regularly exceed 30C.
Mother holds daughter in vaccination room Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption Residents of Kinshasa, like Barmany and her daughter Malux, have received the vaccine free as part of the government-funded programme.
men carry cooler boxes of vaccines down the steps outside a building with a corrugated tin roof Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption In Binza Ozone, a suburb of Kinshasa with a population of around 350,000 people, vaccines are taken from a central storage point to more than 100 vaccination sites spread across the community.
4x4 vehicle drives through dirt track with steep banks either side where pedestrians are walking Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption They are transported in 4x4 vehicles to distribution centres. The city, which has a population of more than 10 million, lacks proper sanitation and is filled with puddles of standing water - the perfect breeding ground for the mosquitoes that spread yellow fever.
children in school Image copyright Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children
Image caption Hundreds of thousands of people have been heading to vaccination sites in Kinshasa, joining the early-morning queues. Charity Save the Children says it reached more than 200,000 people in one suburb of Kinshasa in the space of four days.

Images courtesy of Tommy Trenchard/Save the Children