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

 
Old Fangak, South Sudan
South Sudan

Protecting children from preventable diseases

Voices from the Field 9 Jun 2016
 
Aweil Hospital, South Sudan
South Sudan

Paediatric care and treating malnutrition in Aweil

Project Update 9 Jun 2016
 
Al Salamah MSF Hospital, Syria
Syria

We hope the bloodshed will stop, but it’s not likely to happen soon.

Voices from the Field 2 Jun 2016
 
Niger: MSF response to meningitis, measles and cholera outbreaks
Niger

MSF teams respond to two epidemics and ward off a third

Project Update 26 May 2016
 
MSF health post in Yebi, Diffa, Niger
Niger

Deadly attack on Lake Chad refugees and MSF health post in Yebi

Project Update 25 May 2016
 
Emergency intervention in Bambouti (CAR)
Central African Republic

Thousands of South Sudanese refugees living in deplorable conditions

Project Update 11 May 2016
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