Largest measles outbreak: MSF intervenes in Kongo Central
Measles kills more than 100,000 people each year – mostly children aged under five – although a cheap and effective vaccine has existed for over half a century.

In 2018, there were an estimated nearly 10 million cases of measles and an estimated 140,000 deaths. The disease is extremely contagious, yet easily preventable with two doses of a vaccine. MSF has vaccinated some 28 million children against measles since 2006. Outbreaks are fuelled by weak public immunisation systems and low vaccination coverage, including in areas of conflict and among high numbers of people living in close quarters, such as refugee camps.

Quick facts about measles

5 Minutes to Understand... Measles (ENG)
video

Measles: 5 minutes to understand

5 minutes to understand

Measles is a highly contagious disease can cause deadly epidemics.

The World Health Organization estimates that measles cases in Africa rose 700 per cent between 2018 and 2019.

In low-income countries, when measles is combined with malnutrition or malaria, it’s effects can be devastating. But, thanks to a safe, cheap and effective vaccine, measles is a preventable disease.

In Chad, Niger, and Nigeria, supply and cold chain issues, lack of staff and resources have all affected recent vaccination campaigns. As a result, epidemics that broke out in 2018 continue to claim lives.

Taking action in contexts like these necessitates a series of strategic decisions.

MSF Measles Intervention Bezambe: Nina and Ornella
A huge proportion of children are susceptible to measles. Anna-Clara Ivarsson

How Merveille beat measles

 
Measles outbreak in Maiduguri
Nigeria

“I have not seen such high numbers of measles cases”

Project Update 17 May 2019
 
MSF Response Measles Vaccination (Am Timan District)
Chad

Measles epidemic declared in May 2018, still not under control one year on

Project Update 8 May 2019
 
Measles epidemic in (ex-) Katanga Province
Democratic Republic of Congo

Even during a widespread measles epidemic, we can save kids’ lives

Interview 14 Feb 2019
 
MSF emergency response to outbreaks – meningitis vaccination campaign
Niger

“We should take every opportunity to vaccinate against deadly diseases”

Interview 5 Jul 2018
 
MSF activities and daily life of the refugees in Tasnimarkhola camp.
Bangladesh

Building a hospital for Rohingya in three weeks

Project Update 4 Jan 2018
 
Bangladesh

Emergence of diphtheria worsens situation of Rohingya refugees

Project Update 24 Dec 2017
Advanced HIV management in Homa Bay
Medical Resource

MSF Field Research

We produce important research based on our field experience. So far, we have published articles in over 100 peer-reviewed journals. These articles have often changed clinical practice and have been used for humanitarian advocacy. All of these articles can be found on our dedicated Field Research website.

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29 July 2020