The landlocked Central African country of Chad has been battling a measles outbreak since early-May 2018.
Since the beginning of the year, a total of 1,889 suspected cases of measles, including 72 deaths (case fatality ratio 3.8%) have been reported.
Of these, 885 cases were investigated: 141 were laboratory confirmed, 419 had epidemiological links to confirmed cases and 28 were clinically compatible.
Only 15% (132) of the investigated cases had been vaccinated against measles. More than 95% of confirmed cases were not vaccinated or the vaccination status was unknown.
The country has been plagued by instability from internal ethnic rivalries, conflicts in neighboring countries and the impact of climate change through desertification and the drying up of Lake Chad. Invariably, these factors have affected provision of healthcare services, including immunization. Estimates for measles national immunization coverage for 2016 (based on data available from WHO and UNICEF) stands at 58% – grossly suboptimal to protect a community against an outbreak (usually 95% and above).
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