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Saturday, May 14, 2011

Vaccine Times: Vaccine Preventable Suffering in Chad

Chad is a country that is ravaged by many problems.  Some are just simply beyond our control.  However, vaccines are one thing that we can do something about.  The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is doing great work in this area, but we need more.

Vaccine-preventable diseases wreaking havoc in Chad

Tragic news are coming out of Chad; vaccine-preventable diseases are taking many lives and causing immense pain and suffering. Since the beginning of the year outbreaks of meningitis, measles, polio and cholera have been recorded. Here’s a recap of the various outbreaks that have befallen the people of Chad.

Meningitis
Since the beginning of the year, 4,960 meningitis cases have been reported, and  227 people have died. Medicins Sans Frontieres (MSF, Doctors Without Borders) is lending a helping hand and has set up temporary centers to take care of the meningitis patients. MSF has been distributing antibiotic drugs to local health centers so that people can easily access medication, and has launched a vaccination campaign to halt the outbreak. By April 6, 2011, over 607,000 people had already been vaccinated; another 103,000 people to be reached before the end of last month. I have been unable to find more current information on the situation.

Measles
A measles outbreak has also afflicted the people of Chad. As April 24, 2011, a total of 3,438 cases of measles have been reported out of which 30 have died. 23 districts out of the country’s 61 districts had reported measles cases and out of these, 16 districts were experiencing an epidemic of the disease.
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