IFRC Secretary General calls for global support for plague response in Madagascar

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The Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Elhadj As Sy has appealed for international support for Madagascar’s plague response, at the end of an emergency visit to the Indian Ocean island nation.

“We remain very concerned about this outbreak,” said Mr. Sy. “It is in many ways a multi-dimensional crisis that involves illness, fear, stigma and discrimination. The response also needs to be multi-dimensional – addressing all these factors in parallel, with active involvement of communities.

“Chief among these priorities is the need to scale up treatment while also supporting the National Society to raise awareness within the communities – this is critical to containing and quickly ending this outbreak,” said Mr. Sy.

IFRC has launched an international emergency appeal for 5.5 million Swiss francs to expand the already growing Red Cross response. This comes on the back of an announcement last week of a 1 million Swiss franc allocation from the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). This allocation has already enabled the deployment of nearly 20 medical and technical staff to support volunteers on the ground, alongside medical equipment and medicines to treat plague.

The Malagasy Red Cross is working with partners to transport the sick to hospitals safely, and it is also going house to house in communities providing information on the plague and how to prevent it. The Red Cross will also assume responsibility for the safe and dignified burials of plague victims, to prevent further spread of plague infection between the dead and the living.

“We have ensured that safe and dignified burials are culturally appropriate and involve the participation of family members, so that Malagasy funeral rites are respected and our communities feel supported and accompanied in this very difficult time,” said Claude Rakotondranja, President of Malagasy Red Cross.

In Madagascar, cases of bubonic plague—a disease spread between animals to humans through flea bites– occur nearly every year. The emergence of the more virulent pneumonic form has raised serious concerns because of its rapid spread into urban areas.

“We are adopting a “no regrets” approach to this response,” said Mr. Sy. “Our experience in responding to disease outbreaks is that quick, decisive action can save lives. So we are already on the ground accompanying the Malagasy Red Cross Society to scale up its response. We now look to our partners around the world to support us and the people of Madagascar.”

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

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Madagascar: MSF Working to Tackle Outbreak of Plague

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) began working with local authorities yesterday to tackle an outbreak of pneumonic plague in the port city of Tamatave on the east coast of Madagascar. MSF’s international medical personnel are supporting staff from the Malagasy Ministry of Health to provide treatment to patients currently hospitalized in the plague triage and treatment center, which was built earlier this week outside the city’s hospital by MSF and other international partners.

While Madagascar records cases of plague every year in its highland plateaus, they are primarily bubonic plague, which spreads when a person is bitten by an infected flea carried by rats. This year, the majority of cases are pneumonic plague, which is deadlier and can spread from human to human without an animal vector.

“The plague is understandably a scary disease, but quick, hands-on action can drastically lower the number of fatalities and bring the outbreak to an end,” said Luca Fontana, an MSF water and sanitation specialist. “Pneumonic plague is treatable and patients have a 100 percent chance of making a full recovery when treatment is started in time. Moreover, people at risk of infection can take prophylaxis treatments that will prevent them from falling ill. This is why MSF responded with concrete action to the Malagasy authorities’ call for support in Tamatave.”

In addition to treating the sick, MSF staff are helping local authorities to improve patient triage systems to quickly identify and isolate plague patients, as well as coordinating the ambulance system in Tamatave city. MSF water and sanitation specialists, alongside local teams, are also involved in hygiene and disinfection protocols in the hospital and the community to mitigate the risk of the plague spreading further.

The port city of Tamatave, also known as Toamasina, is home to about 300,000 people and currently has one of the highest concentrations of cases of pneumonic plague in Madagascar, with 261 cases and 10 fatalities since the beginning of the outbreak. According to official data, 1,032 cases of plague, including 695 cases of pneumonic plague and 89 deaths, were recorded in Madagascar from August 1 to October 17.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Source:: Madagascar: MSF Working to Tackle Outbreak of Plague

      

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Madagascar: MSF Working to Tackle Outbreak of Plague

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) began working with local authorities yesterday to tackle an outbreak of pneumonic plague in the port city of Tamatave on the east coast of Madagascar. MSF’s international medical personnel are supporting staff from the Malagasy Ministry of Health to provide treatment to patients currently hospitalized in the plague triage and treatment center, which was built earlier this week outside the city’s hospital by MSF and other international partners.

While Madagascar records cases of plague every year in its highland plateaus, they are primarily bubonic plague, which spreads when a person is bitten by an infected flea carried by rats. This year, the majority of cases are pneumonic plague, which is deadlier and can spread from human to human without an animal vector.

“The plague is understandably a scary disease, but quick, hands-on action can drastically lower the number of fatalities and bring the outbreak to an end,” said Luca Fontana, an MSF water and sanitation specialist. “Pneumonic plague is treatable and patients have a 100 percent chance of making a full recovery when treatment is started in time. Moreover, people at risk of infection can take prophylaxis treatments that will prevent them from falling ill. This is why MSF responded with concrete action to the Malagasy authorities’ call for support in Tamatave.”

In addition to treating the sick, MSF staff are helping local authorities to improve patient triage systems to quickly identify and isolate plague patients, as well as coordinating the ambulance system in Tamatave city. MSF water and sanitation specialists, alongside local teams, are also involved in hygiene and disinfection protocols in the hospital and the community to mitigate the risk of the plague spreading further.

The port city of Tamatave, also known as Toamasina, is home to about 300,000 people and currently has one of the highest concentrations of cases of pneumonic plague in Madagascar, with 261 cases and 10 fatalities since the beginning of the outbreak. According to official data, 1,032 cases of plague, including 695 cases of pneumonic plague and 89 deaths, were recorded in Madagascar from August 1 to October 17.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Source:: Madagascar: MSF Working to Tackle Outbreak of Plague

      

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Madagascar: MSF Working to Tackle Outbreak of Plague

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) began working with local authorities yesterday to tackle an outbreak of pneumonic plague in the port city of Tamatave on the east coast of Madagascar. MSF’s international medical personnel are supporting staff from the Malagasy Ministry of Health to provide treatment to patients currently hospitalized in the plague triage and treatment center, which was built earlier this week outside the city’s hospital by MSF and other international partners.

While Madagascar records cases of plague every year in its highland plateaus, they are primarily bubonic plague, which spreads when a person is bitten by an infected flea carried by rats. This year, the majority of cases are pneumonic plague, which is deadlier and can spread from human to human without an animal vector.

“The plague is understandably a scary disease, but quick, hands-on action can drastically lower the number of fatalities and bring the outbreak to an end,” said Luca Fontana, an MSF water and sanitation specialist. “Pneumonic plague is treatable and patients have a 100 percent chance of making a full recovery when treatment is started in time. Moreover, people at risk of infection can take prophylaxis treatments that will prevent them from falling ill. This is why MSF responded with concrete action to the Malagasy authorities’ call for support in Tamatave.”

In addition to treating the sick, MSF staff are helping local authorities to improve patient triage systems to quickly identify and isolate plague patients, as well as coordinating the ambulance system in Tamatave city. MSF water and sanitation specialists, alongside local teams, are also involved in hygiene and disinfection protocols in the hospital and the community to mitigate the risk of the plague spreading further.

The port city of Tamatave, also known as Toamasina, is home to about 300,000 people and currently has one of the highest concentrations of cases of pneumonic plague in Madagascar, with 261 cases and 10 fatalities since the beginning of the outbreak. According to official data, 1,032 cases of plague, including 695 cases of pneumonic plague and 89 deaths, were recorded in Madagascar from August 1 to October 17.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Médecins sans frontières (MSF).

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Source:: Madagascar: MSF Working to Tackle Outbreak of Plague

      

Categories: AFRICA | Tags: