WHO Seeks $5.5 Million to Fight Plague in Madagascar

The medicines are being distributed to health facilities and mobile health clinics across the country, and WHO is also filling critical shortages in disinfection materials and PPE for health professionals and safe burials.

The World Heath Organization has delivered nearly 1.2 million doses of antibiotics and released $1.5 million in emergency funds to fight plague in Madagascar, and the UN organization appealed earlier this month for $5.5 million to effectively respond to the outbreak. "Plague is curable if detected in time. Our teams are working to ensure that everyone at risk has access to protection and treatment. The faster we move, the more lives we save," said Dr. Charlotte Ndiaye, the WHO representative in Madagascar.

WHO reported it had delivered 1,190,000 doses of antibiotics to the Ministry of Health and partners and expected to deliver 244,000 more doses soon. The different types of drugs will be used for both treatment and preventative care; the supplies are enough to treat up to 5,000 patients and protect up to 100,000 people who may be exposed to the disease.

The medicines are being distributed to health facilities and mobile health clinics across the country, and WHO is also filling critical shortages in disinfection materials and PPE for health professionals and safe burials. The organization reported that the Ministry of Health is training local health workers on how to identify and care for patients and how to trace people who have had close contact with symptomatic patients so that they may be given protective treatment. Most of the 231 infections and 33 deaths the ministry has reported since August are associated with pneumonic plague – a more dangerous form of the disease that affects the lungs and is transmitted through coughing at close range; both bubonic and pneumonic plague can be cured using common antibiotics if delivered early.

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