WHO Director-General: invest in health to end plague in Madagascar

The Director-General of WHO has outlined his imaginative and prescient for a Madagascar freed from plague epidemics throughout a three-day go to to the island nation that began on 7 January 2018.

“Madagascar can make plague epidemics a thing of the past through strategic investments in its health system – including better access to healthcare, improving preparedness, surveillance and response capabilities, and implementing the International Health Regulations,” mentioned Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

During his first go to to Madagascar since his election as Director-General of WHO final 12 months, Dr Tedros is because of meet with plague survivors and affected households, key Ministers and officers main response efforts, the President and First Lady, and representatives of UN companies and well being companions. He may also go to a plague therapy centre, and the National Operational and Strategic Centre for Epidemiological Surveillance.

On the primary day of the go to, the WHO Director-General thanked nationwide authorities for his or her management and companions for his or her assist through the current nationwide outbreak of pneumonic and bubonic plague that brought about greater than 200 deaths over 4 months.

“This unprecedented pneumonic plague outbreak was contained due to the tireless efforts of Malagasy health workers and partners. WHO will continue to support plague preparedness, control and response, and we call on our international development partners to help us end human outbreaks. This will include better understanding of the wider factors that allow plague to spread, and strengthening national capacities to manage similar emergencies in the future,” mentioned Dr Tedros.

Although the acute part of the epidemic was declared over by well being authorities in late November 2017, plague happens seasonally in Madagascar, normally between September and April every year.

Dr Tedros was accompanied by WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti who cautioned that the response should be sustained till the top of the plague season and past.

“We must sustain a strong alert and response system to rapidly detect and respond to new plague cases as they emerge,” mentioned Dr Moeti. “WHO urgently requires an additional US$ 4 million to sustain response operations over the next three months and until April 2018.”

When the outbreak was detected in August 2017, WHO quickly mobilised monetary, operational and technical assist to Madagascar and neighbouring international locations – releasing emergency funds, delivering medicines and provides, sharing tips on case administration and protected burials, supporting surveillance and laboratory testing, and strengthening public well being measures at
ports and airports. More than 4400 individuals had been skilled to determine, refer and take care of shut contacts of plague sufferers to stop the illness from spreading.

“With support from WHO and other partners we provided treatment to nearly all identified plague patients and more than 7300 contacts free of charge,” mentioned Dr Lalatiana Andriamanarivo, Minister of Health of Madagascar.

Through its Health Emergencies programme, monetary assist for WHO’s response to the plague outbreak in Madagascar has been supplied by the WHO Contingency Fund for Emergencies (CFE) and the governments of Italy, Norway and the Republic of Korea. WHO and the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) workers deployed greater than 135 workers to Madagascar to answer the outbreak.

Note to editors

The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, the Malagasy Red Cross, Institut Pasteur Madagascar, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Medecins du Monde (MdM), the United Nations nation workforce (together with UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP), USAID, Action Contre la Faim, the Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network (GOARN) companions, together with the alumni community (EAN) of the European Programme for Intervention Epidemiology Training (EPIET), the Indian Ocean Commission (OIC), Public Health England, the Robert Koch Institute, Santé Public France, the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and different companions are actively supporting the federal government and well being authorities in Madagascar.

For extra info, please contact:

Tarik Jašarević
Communications Officer
Telephone : +41 22 791 5099
Mobile: +41 793 676 214
E-mail: jasarevict@who.int

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