Friday, 29 Sep 2023

More than 1100 people died in the measles epidemic

Two months ago, still permeated children’s home of Dada, a fisherman on the island of Madagascar to laugh. His four-year-old son played with his two younger Cousins in front of the door, she raged at one of the famous sun-drenched beaches of the island. Only a few weeks later, all three children were dead.

You are a victim of the recent measles outbreak in Madagascar since September, more than 1100 people have lost their lives, around 87,000 people are affected. In the case of most of the dead, according to the world health organization (WHO) to children up to the age of 14 years.

The number of measles cases is increasing worldwide, are affected even rich Nations such as Germany or the USA. Parents shun life-saving vaccinations, because they sit the wrong information. In Madagascar, the Situation is different. The country is among the poorest Nations in the world. Many parents desire to have their children vaccinated. However, there is not enough vaccine for all of them – and many can’t afford the treatment.

Illegal physician instead of a clinic

So that the body can build up a reliable protection against the Virus is two doses of the vaccine is necessary. Madagascar paid its inhabitants, however, only the first, more can not afford the Land-of-date. This also received Limberaza, the son of the fisherman Dada. For the second vaccination his father 15 US would have to raise dollars. A lot of money for a family that lives on less than two dollars per day.

“I couldn’t afford to bring him to the hospital,” says Dada. Instead, the fishermen went to a illegal doctor, his son, a supposed vaccination administered. In January Limberaza began to cough, on his skin, a rash developed. When he died a week later, was burning his body from the fever.

After Limberaza his cousin fell ill, the three-year-old Martina. Eight days later, she died – just like Mario, the three-year-old son of Dada’s other sister.

Dada with a photo of the Cousins, three of whom measles died

Measles is among the most contagious pathogens. Two hours after the residence of the Infected in a room can infect others through the air. Especially in infants and children in the first year of life, the risk is high that there is swelling to severe complications such as pneumonia, the Brain, and in the worst case, death.

Although an effective vaccine exists, were killed around the world by 2017 with around 110,000 people to the consequences of the disease. Most of them were children under the age of five, according to the WHO. At the same time, the vaccination prevented an estimated however, 21.1 million deaths in the period from 2000 to 2017. The make her one of the best investments in the health sector, to explain to the United Nations.

Vaccination saves millions of lives

Due to incorrect information on the vaccination, measles accumulate diseases currently, even in places where the Virus was defeated. Europe reported last year, the majority of measles cases in a decade. In January, the world health organisation declared Impfskepsis one of the ten global threats to health.

In Madagascar, however, is not misinformation, but poverty is the biggest risk. While rich tourists to act through the rain forest stripes and businessmen with vanilla, almost half of the indigenous children are malnourished. As many as in any other African country.

Coup and political instability of the past decades have shaped attempts in the former French colony. Again and again, there was an outbreak of plague, hemorrhagic Fevers or other fatal viruses. However, the corrupt leadership has ignored for years, the disintegration of the health system.

Almost two-thirds of the children in Madagascar a complete vaccination against measles is missing. In order to prevent that the Virus is widespread, should be around 95% protected. In case of an emergency programme 2.2 of the 26 million inhabitants have been vaccinated.

“A child vaccinated can be a real obstacle course”

Madagascar hopes to be able to this year, a free program to start, in which all the inhabitants received the two necessary doses. The country, three of the seven million dollars it would take to have enough vaccine to provide for all residents, but are missing the WHO stated last month. In addition to the cost of the leads, but also to logistical challenges.

Even today, some parents walk for miles to have their children vaccinated. At the destination arrived, closed the clinics, however, often have no or expired vaccine in stock. To vaccinate “a child can be a real obstacle course,” says Jean-benoît Manhes, representatives of the children’s Fund of the United Nations.

The failure of the health system is of the essence, especially poor parents to allow their children instead of traditional healers to treat. Also Limberazas father thought that his son help. The two Cousins were not vaccinated. Now the family has only one goal: to protect their remaining children.