Although Madagascar suffers from seasonal outbreaks of bubonic plague, this time it’s different. Whilst bubonic plague is spread predominantly through flea bites, pneumonic plague spreads through the air between people. This makes it much more difficult to prevent and control.
“The situation is very difficult, as the plague is very much linked to some cultural customs, such as funeral or exhumation rites.
“Unfortunately, sanitation and waste management are poorly delivered both in rural and urban areas.
“In Moramanga (one of the areas affected) YMCA staff and peer leaders have started sanitation action with the local hospital to inform the public about plague symptoms, free hospital treatments, and prevention care for people in contact with pestiferous persons or areas.”
Y Care International Chief Executive Adam Leach said: “This outbreak needs an urgent response. Swift action is vital because it’s a new type of outbreak and people may be less prepared
“Access to accurate and timely information is crucial so that people can act. From experience, we know that when young men and women have the resources, they are able to help themselves and their communities.“