Guinea Bissau: Providing help duringa measles outbreak

Concerned about the potential for an epidemic, MSF sent a team to assess medical needs in April 2004. The team found that more than 964 measles cases had been registered in the first three months of the year. The central cold chain system was not working well and no measles vaccines were available. MSF transported vaccines as well as logistical and medical material in cargo planes from Brussels and started an emergency vaccination campaign in early May. Targeting a population of 200,000 children between the ages of six months and 15 years old, the team ran vaccination programs in the areas of Gabu, Oio, the Bijagos islands and Bolama. Awareness activities were conducted to improve future routine vaccinations. The vaccination campaign ended in June 2004 with 89 percent of the targeted population having been vaccinated. MSF last worked in Guinea Bissau in 1998 to assist the population in a conflict and post-conflict situation. Since then, MSF keeps in regular contact with health authorities to respond to any health emergencies that arise. INTERNATIONAL STAFF: 7 NATIONAL STAFF: 8