In a news release Monday, The Director-General of WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus outlined his vision for a Madagascar free of plague epidemics during a three-day visit to the island nation that started on 7 January 2018.
“Madagascar can make plague epidemics a thing of the past through strategic investments in its health system – including better access to healthcare, improving preparedness, surveillance and response capabilities, and implementing the International Health Regulations,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
During his first visit to Madagascar since his election as Director-General of WHO last year, Dr Tedros is due to meet with plague survivors and affected families, key Ministers and officials leading response efforts, the President and First Lady, and representatives of UN agencies and health partners. He will also visit a plague treatment centre, and the National Operational and Strategic Centre for Epidemiological Surveillance.
On the first day of the visit, the WHO Director-General thanked national authorities for their leadership and partners for their support during the recent nationwide outbreak of pneumonic and bubonic plague that caused more than 200 deaths over four months.
“This unprecedented pneumonic plague outbreak was contained due to the tireless efforts of Malagasy health workers and partners. WHO will continue to support plague preparedness, control and response, and we call on our international development partners to help us end human outbreaks. This will include better understanding of the wider factors that allow plague to spread, and strengthening national capacities to manage similar emergencies in the future,” said Dr Tedros.