AU calls for more support to fight against plague in Madagascar
London, Oct. 24, 2017 (AltAfrika) –The Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat has called for financial support from AU member states to help fight outbreak of epidemic ravaging Madagascar.
“In order to stop the transmission and win the battle against the plague outbreak, which may have dire health, economic and security consequences, in the absence of adequate control, we need to strengthen our overall continental response,” said the chairperson in a statement.
“In the spirit of Africans helping Africans, and bearing in mind that diseases do not recognize borders, I urge all African Union Member States to provide financial and human resources to support the fight against this current plague outbreak,” he added.
The plague outbreak was declared on September 13 and the government of Madagascar, with the support of African and international partners, has accelerated its efforts in the fight against the recent outbreak.
A multisectoral national response coordination committee was established, under the leadership of the Ministry of Public Health to coordinate the response to the plague outbreak.
Latest estimates from the Ministry of Health showed that as of October 18, a total of 1,032 cases were reported; of these, 89 deaths were documented from 38 districts within 15 regions.
Based on the current situation, the cost of the joint response plan between the government of Madagascar and its partners is estimated at 9.5 million U.S. dollars.
Deployed on October 10, Africa Center for Disease Control (CDC) epidemiologists are assisting the Ministry of Health in coordinating the response of government agencies and other partners, said the statement.
Plague is caused by a bacterium known as Yersinia Pestis usually affecting human beings and other animals including domestic animals such as cats and dogs.
The majority of cases involve the lungs, a form of the disease called “pneumonic” plague is particularly dangerous, because people with pneumonic plague can infect other persons by coughing at close range