Red Cross to deploy first-ever plague treatment center to Madagascar

Source:Xinhua Published: 2017/10/14 1:18:39

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) said Friday it is deploying a treatment center to provide urgent care for hundreds of people in Madagascar infected with plague.

A full medical team will be deployed along with the 50-bed treatment center that has the capacity to isolate and treat patients suffering from plague, the IFRC said in a statement.

"Our past experience in outbreak response has underlined the importance of responding quickly and effectively," said Dr. Fatoumata Nafo-Traore, IFRC regional director for Africa.

The treatment center will operate using national health staff in addition to the international medical team, and will significantly bolster in-country capacity to respond to the outbreak.

In Madagascar, cases of bubonic plague, a disease spread between animals to humans through flea bites, occur nearly every year, said the Red Cross.

The emergence of the more virulent pneumonic form has raised serious concerns because of its rapid spread into urban areas as well as a confirmed case of plague that has been exported to the Seychelles.

"This week we released 1 million Swiss francs (1.03 million US dollars) from our disaster relief emergency fund to scale up the Malagasy Red Cross' medical treatment capacity to stop further spread of this disease," said Nafo-Traore.

To date there have been over 550 cases of the plague, of which more than 70 percent are the pneumonic form and 57 people have died of the disease.

"The treatment center will operate 24/7 for people infected with plague," Andoniaina Ratsimamanga, secretary general of the Malagasy Red Cross, was quoted as saying.


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