Posts tagged measles

Photo by Wairimu Gitau/MSF
A mother and her four children walked hundreds of miles from Juba, South Sudan, to the Nadapal border with Kenya where they became refugees from the fighting in their home country. In Nadapal, an MSF emergency team referred them to a hospital where they were tested for measles. Read more about the conflict in South Sudan: http://bit.ly/1aohxdM

Photo by Wairimu Gitau/MSF

A mother and her four children walked hundreds of miles from Juba, South Sudan, to the Nadapal border with Kenya where they became refugees from the fighting in their home country. In Nadapal, an MSF emergency team referred them to a hospital where they were tested for measles. Read more about the conflict in South Sudan: http://bit.ly/1aohxdM

From the series MSF in 2013:
“Traveling from village to village, we hear just one word: measles. People are frightened and hopeless. They’re asking for help.”— Nathalie Gielen, Doctors Without Borders team manager
An MSF doctor examines a child being treated for measles in Province Orientale, DRC. Photo © Tristan Pfund

From the series MSF in 2013:

“Traveling from village to village, we hear just one word: measles. People are frightened and hopeless. They’re asking for help.”
— Nathalie Gielen, Doctors Without Borders team manager

An MSF doctor examines a child being treated for measles in Province Orientale, DRC. Photo © Tristan Pfund

Photo by Yozo Kawabe 
After 28 weeks, a widespread outbreak of measles in Katsina State, Nigeria, has ended. MSF had been regularly visiting 300 health facilities, and donated treatments for 14,290 people. Read more

Photo by Yozo Kawabe

After 28 weeks, a widespread outbreak of measles in Katsina State, Nigeria, has ended. MSF had been regularly visiting 300 health facilities, and donated treatments for 14,290 people. Read more

Photo: A child is tested for malaria in Orientale Province. DRC 2012 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF
DRC: Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Malaria Deaths in Orientale Province
An upsurge in malaria is likely to have serious consequences for people in Orientale Province in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) unless immediate action is taken. “Too many health centers lack the supplies necessary for coping with a new outbreak, and this is completely unacceptable,” said Dr. Narcisse Wega, MSF emergency coordinator.

Photo: A child is tested for malaria in Orientale Province. DRC 2012 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF

DRC: Urgent Action Needed to Prevent Malaria Deaths in Orientale Province

An upsurge in malaria is likely to have serious consequences for people in Orientale Province in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) unless immediate action is taken. “Too many health centers lack the supplies necessary for coping with a new outbreak, and this is completely unacceptable,” said Dr. Narcisse Wega, MSF emergency coordinator.

Photo: The raining season may close off vehicle access to roads, but MSF staff will find the means to reach their patients in need. DRC 2013 © MSF

Photo: The raining season may close off vehicle access to roads, but MSF staff will find the means to reach their patients in need. DRC 2013 © MSF

Photos: DRC 2013 © Tristan Pfund/MSF

Fighting a Years-Long Measles Epidemic in Congo

The measles epidemic has spread to areas recently hit by a malaria outbreak between May and September 2012, causing exceptionally high mortality rates among children under five years old. MSF teams launched its intervention in March 2012 to vaccinate and treat people who don’t have access to healthcare. MSF teams provide supplies to health care facilities and train medical staff and community health works to reach the most distant communities.

Photo: If not treated on time, measles-affected children often develop severe medical complications, such as respiratory infections and malnutrition. DRC 2013 © Tristan Pfund/MSF
Measles Continues to Stalk the DRC
This past December, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) issued an alert about a measles epidemic in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s Equateur and Orientale provinces, trying to draw attention to the situation and the lack of resources available to health personnel responding to the emergency. Two months later, however, the measles epidemic is still afflicting tens of thousands of children in the area. The disease is extremely contagious and can spread quickly in countries like DRC that have large gaps in their health care systems. The effects can de devastating. Measles leads to serious medical complications in patients. Mortality can reach up to 15 percent, or even as high as 25 percent in extreme instances. Since March 2012, MSF has treated more than 18,500 patients and vaccinated more than 440,000 children, but it is clear that many more need assistance. “We see lots of small, recently dug graves along the roads,” says Nathalie Gielen, manager of an MSF team returning from Djolu health zone in Equateur. “We counted 35 dead in one village. A father told us that he had lost seven children in three weeks. Traveling from village to village, we hear just one word: measles. People are frightened and hopeless. They’re asking for help.”

Photo: If not treated on time, measles-affected children often develop severe medical complications, such as respiratory infections and malnutrition. DRC 2013 © Tristan Pfund/MSF

Measles Continues to Stalk the DRC

This past December, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) issued an alert about a measles epidemic in northern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)’s Equateur and Orientale provinces, trying to draw attention to the situation and the lack of resources available to health personnel responding to the emergency. Two months later, however, the measles epidemic is still afflicting tens of thousands of children in the area. The disease is extremely contagious and can spread quickly in countries like DRC that have large gaps in their health care systems. The effects can de devastating. Measles leads to serious medical complications in patients. Mortality can reach up to 15 percent, or even as high as 25 percent in extreme instances. Since March 2012, MSF has treated more than 18,500 patients and vaccinated more than 440,000 children, but it is clear that many more need assistance. “We see lots of small, recently dug graves along the roads,” says Nathalie Gielen, manager of an MSF team returning from Djolu health zone in Equateur. “We counted 35 dead in one village. A father told us that he had lost seven children in three weeks. Traveling from village to village, we hear just one word: measles. People are frightened and hopeless. They’re asking for help.”

Battling a Measles Epidemic in Northeast Congo

Following a recent malaria epidemic in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a measles outbreak has spread through some 20 health zones in the the country’s Orientale Province. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has deployed major logistical support to treat 16,000 patients and vaccinate close to 340,000 children in the affected regions.

Photo: MSF and Pakistani staff examine a patient in Dera Murad Jamali Hospital, where MSF is treating patients for measles-related complications. Pakistan 2011 © P.K. Lee/MSF
MSF Responds To Increase In Measles in Southwestern Pakistan
Cases of measles are on the rise in the eastern region of Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. An MSF medical team in Dera Murad Jamali has treated 159 patients since late December 2012, and two measles-related deaths have occurred in health facilities supported by MSF in the province’s Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts.To cope with the increasing number of patients, an eight-bed isolation unit has been set up in Dera Murad Jamali Hospital to treat patients with complications. Some 35 complicated cases have been treated over the past two weeks. Treatment kits have been distributed to locations where MSF runs mobile clinics, including Mir Hassan, Usta Mohammad, Dera Allah Yar, and Sobhat Pur.
“Our mobile medical teams are reaching out to communities to identify patients with measles symptoms in the catchment area of our supported health facilities,” says Dr. Muhammad Shoaib, MSF’s medical coordinator in Pakistan. “Patients are then referred for treatment aimed at preventing complications such as respiratory infections.”There has been an increase in the number of recorded measles cases across Pakistan over the past two months. “Measles is an extremely contagious illness,” says Dr. Shoaib. “If not treated in time, it may result in serious medical complications and even death, especially amongst malnourished patients. In eastern Balochistan, where malnutrition rates are relatively high, the chance of complications is high.”

Photo: MSF and Pakistani staff examine a patient in Dera Murad Jamali Hospital, where MSF is treating patients for measles-related complications. Pakistan 2011 © P.K. Lee/MSF

MSF Responds To Increase In Measles in Southwestern Pakistan

Cases of measles are on the rise in the eastern region of Pakistan’s Balochistan Province. An MSF medical team in Dera Murad Jamali has treated 159 patients since late December 2012, and two measles-related deaths have occurred in health facilities supported by MSF in the province’s Jaffarabad and Nasirabad districts.

To cope with the increasing number of patients, an eight-bed isolation unit has been set up in Dera Murad Jamali Hospital to treat patients with complications. Some 35 complicated cases have been treated over the past two weeks. Treatment kits have been distributed to locations where MSF runs mobile clinics, including Mir Hassan, Usta Mohammad, Dera Allah Yar, and Sobhat Pur.

“Our mobile medical teams are reaching out to communities to identify patients with measles symptoms in the catchment area of our supported health facilities,” says Dr. Muhammad Shoaib, MSF’s medical coordinator in Pakistan. “Patients are then referred for treatment aimed at preventing complications such as respiratory infections.”

There has been an increase in the number of recorded measles cases across Pakistan over the past two months. “Measles is an extremely contagious illness,” says Dr. Shoaib. “If not treated in time, it may result in serious medical complications and even death, especially amongst malnourished patients. In eastern Balochistan, where malnutrition rates are relatively high, the chance of complications is high.”

Photo: Patients in South Kivu wait to receive measles vaccinations in a 2010 MSF mass immunization campaign. DRC 2010 © Haavar Karlsen.
65,000 Children Vaccinated Against Measles in DRC’s South Kivu
In the past month, MSF teams in the Bunyakiri region of Democratic Republic of Congo's South Kivu Province have vaccinated more than 65,000 children aged 6 months to 15 years against measles. The campaign had to be briefly suspended in the north of the region due to the volatile security situation in an area where several armed groups are present and fighting is frequent.

Photo: Patients in South Kivu wait to receive measles vaccinations in a 2010 MSF mass immunization campaign. DRC 2010 © Haavar Karlsen.

65,000 Children Vaccinated Against Measles in DRC’s South Kivu

In the past month, MSF teams in the Bunyakiri region of Democratic Republic of Congo's South Kivu Province have vaccinated more than 65,000 children aged 6 months to 15 years against measles. The campaign had to be briefly suspended in the north of the region due to the volatile security situation in an area where several armed groups are present and fighting is frequent.

Photo: Children wait to receive measles vaccinations. DRC 2008 © Anna Surinyach
Vaccines: Ensuring Sustainable Supplies
Over the last few years, new vaccines to fight an increased range of childhood diseases have come to market. These new products come at a time when there is a renewed focus and international commitment to ensure that children in developing countries are also able to benefit from full protection against childhood killer diseases.
But current vaccine supply and procurement practices are limiting countries’ ability to get the vaccines they want and need for their children. This is leading to vaccine shortages both at national and international level that could hamper global efforts to extend immunization to as many children as possible in developing countries.
The GAVI Alliance, a private-public partnership*, finances the introduction of new and underused vaccines in some of the world’s poorest countries. Read more about GAVI and access to vaccines.

Photo: Children wait to receive measles vaccinations. DRC 2008 © Anna Surinyach

Vaccines: Ensuring Sustainable Supplies

Over the last few years, new vaccines to fight an increased range of childhood diseases have come to market. These new products come at a time when there is a renewed focus and international commitment to ensure that children in developing countries are also able to benefit from full protection against childhood killer diseases.

But current vaccine supply and procurement practices are limiting countries’ ability to get the vaccines they want and need for their children. This is leading to vaccine shortages both at national and international level that could hamper global efforts to extend immunization to as many children as possible in developing countries.

The GAVI Alliance, a private-public partnership*, finances the introduction of new and underused vaccines in some of the world’s poorest countries. Read more about GAVI and access to vaccines.

Photo: Mothers and children queue to receive food as part of treatment in Guidan Roumdji, where MSF treats malnutrition and malaria. Niger 2012 © Tanya Bindra
Op-Ed: How to Start a Child Survival Epidemic
“Running your infant to the pediatrician for a well-baby check up and shots may seem like just another chore. Who do you know who ever had measles? Many parents wonder if all those shots are really necessary in the first place. But last week, mothers, nurses, and doctors in Niger reminded me just how powerful and important these simple gestures are.”
How can improving childhood survival rates in Niger spread to a child survival epidemic? MSF pediatrician, Susan Shephered, discusses her work in the field and strategies to reduce childhood mortality worldwide. 
This article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

Photo: Mothers and children queue to receive food as part of treatment in Guidan Roumdji, where MSF treats malnutrition and malaria. Niger 2012 © Tanya Bindra

Op-Ed: How to Start a Child Survival Epidemic

Running your infant to the pediatrician for a well-baby check up and shots may seem like just another chore. Who do you know who ever had measles? Many parents wonder if all those shots are really necessary in the first place. But last week, mothers, nurses, and doctors in Niger reminded me just how powerful and important these simple gestures are.”

How can improving childhood survival rates in Niger spread to a child survival epidemic? MSF pediatrician, Susan Shephered, discusses her work in the field and strategies to reduce childhood mortality worldwide. 

This article was originally published on the Huffington Post.

It’s unjust that children are still dying of measles, but how do we vaccinate them when it’s impossible to reach certain areas? There are no easy answers, but I still find this appalling. The same for malnutrition. The soil is so fertile there that you can drop anything on the ground and it’ll grow. There shouldn’t be any malnutrition.

Anna Halford, returning from a four-month mission as a project coordinator in DRC, reflects on the work MSF does to help people enduring daily violence.

At the end of 2011, MSF was the target of a violent attack in Masisi, North Kivu, in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This incident forced the organization to reduce its teams between that November and April of this year. Activities have resumed, but the security situation remains tense.

Read this interview with Anna Halford from her time working with MSF in DRC.

Somalia: Measles Takes its TollMeasles is sweeping unchecked through parts of southern Somalia. The disease is highly contagious and unvaccinated children are at great risk, especially if they are also malnourished. The war in southern Somalia is a key factor contributing to ongoing widespread malnutrition, low vaccination coverage, and lack of access to health care services. All of these factors aggravate the spread and severity of diseases like measles.

In some Doctors Without Borders programs, the number of measles cases has sharply increased in recent days and weeks. Many patients arrive in severe condition.

“Over the last weeks, we diagnosed and treated over 300 patients for measles—mainly children—in the towns of Haramka and Marere in Lower Juba Valley,” said Silvia Colona, Doctors Without Borders’s project coordinator for southern Somalia. “We also set up a measles treatment unit in the city of Kismayo last week, and it filled up immediately with critically ill children.”Somalia 2011 © Martina Bacigalupo
A four-year-old boy suffering from measles and malnutrition waits for his medicine in Banadir hospital in Mogadishu.

Somalia: Measles Takes its Toll

Measles is sweeping unchecked through parts of southern Somalia. The disease is highly contagious and unvaccinated children are at great risk, especially if they are also malnourished. The war in southern Somalia is a key factor contributing to ongoing widespread malnutrition, low vaccination coverage, and lack of access to health care services. All of these factors aggravate the spread and severity of diseases like measles.

In some Doctors Without Borders programs, the number of measles cases has sharply increased in recent days and weeks. Many patients arrive in severe condition.

“Over the last weeks, we diagnosed and treated over 300 patients for measles—mainly children—in the towns of Haramka and Marere in Lower Juba Valley,” said Silvia Colona, Doctors Without Borders’s project coordinator for southern Somalia. “We also set up a measles treatment unit in the city of Kismayo last week, and it filled up immediately with critically ill children.”

Somalia 2011 © Martina Bacigalupo
A four-year-old boy suffering from measles and malnutrition waits for his medicine in Banadir hospital in Mogadishu.

Combined with malnutrition, measles is now the main killer of children in Somalia.

Duncan McLean, head of MSF programs in Somalia,

MSF teams have been battling the deadly combination of measles and acute malnutrition, which affects children in particular. A large proportion of the population has not been vaccinated against measles or any other diseases because years of instability and the lack of an effective government or a functional state have caused the healthcare system to collapse.

Measles, if untreated, can be highly fatal for children.