Epidemics and pandemics
Outbreaks of cholera, measles and yellow fever can spread rapidly and be fatal. Malaria is endemic in more than 100 countries. Millions are living with HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis. Viral hemorrhagic diseases such as Ebola or Marburg are rarer, but are potentially fatal.
The people at highest risk are mainly living in poverty or in areas of great instability, such as in armed conflict or during mass displacement, where living conditions are precarious, access to healthcare is limited, and vaccination coverage is low.
Reacting swiftly once an outbreak is identified will ensure that the number of people at risk is quickly reduced, and can significantly impact the number of people falling ill and those dying. Engaging in advocacy to support access to treatment, as in the case of HIV/AIDS and TB, is crucial in pushing for effective responses.
Voices from the field
It has been a long, painful, deadly year for the people living in the Ebola-affected areas in DRC.Trish Newport, Deputy Manager of MSF's Ebola programmes (DRC)