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.
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.
• It costs less than US$1 for the vaccine to protect one child from measles for life.
• It will cost $212 million to reach the Measles Initiative’s target of reducing measles deaths by 95% by 2015.
• The funding shortfall: There is a present funding shortfall of $43.4 million to reach this target.
“5 Lives” tells the stories of people who MSF works with every day, people whose lives often hinge on whether or not they can gain access to a simple medical intervention. These are situations that could be avoided with proper and sustainable funding and investment in public health. That’s why MSF supports calls to permanently allocate a small portion of a new financial transaction tax (FTT), which has been proposed by some governments, to support global health needs. A regular stream of funding would help provide some of the resources needed to address unchecked health crises around the world.