MSF vaccinates thousands against measles in Ivory Coast

This is the third vaccination campaign carried out by MSF in Ivory Coast in the last two months.
"Since the beginning of the conflict in this region, health workers have stopped working in the hospitals and health centres. With the situation as it is, outbreaks such as this one can easily go undetected" - MSF staff member.
Over the last week, MSF has vaccinated more than 8,000 children against measles in the Korhogo region located in the north of Ivory Coast. Cases of measles were first reported in the village of Diawala, 135km north of Korhogo, on April 15. The MSF team - which has been supporting health centres in the area since October 2002 - began the vaccination campaign after an assessment visit to the affected area suggested that the number of cases was increasing. Since April 28, 16 MSF staff have vaccinated children in ten different villages in an effort to stop the spread of the virus. The campaign is aimed at children between six months and 15 years old who live in the affected villages and surrounding areas. The target population is estimated to be about 10,000 people. "It was important for us to move fast, because local health care systems in the area have largely disintegrated" said Stephane Goetghebuer in the MSF Operational Centre in Brussels. "Since the beginning of the conflict in this region (starting September 19), health workers have stopped working in the hospitals and health centres. With the situation as it is, outbreaks such as this one can easily go undetected. Even though this was a relatively small outbreak it was essential that it was addressed quickly, to avoid the risk of the virus rapidly spreading more widely." This is the third vaccination campaign carried out by MSF in Ivory Coast in the last two months. The MSF team, which includes expatriate and local staff, will continue to monitor the situation in order to be able to respond quickly to new outbreaks.