Madagascar + 2 more

Madagascar: Plague Epidemic - Joint Situation Report No. 3, as of 23 October 2017

Situation Report
Originally published



  • 14/22 regions and 40/114 health districts have reported cases of pneumonic plague; 6 affected districts have not registered new cases for 15 days.

  • 1,192 cases have been identified with 124 deaths; 67 per cent of cases were pneumonic.

  • 780 patients have been cured since the beginning of this epidemic, others are receiving treatment in hospitals.

  • Less than 30 per cent of people who had contact with patients can be traced.

  • Plague has been reported long major highways; despite the lack protective equipment, controls are being strengthened.

  • About 52 per cent of disinfection equipment needs are not yet covered.

  • The private sector is increasingly involved, including the workers unions.

1,192 Total cases this plague season

124 Total plague deaths

67% Of cases were pneumonic

780 Patients have been cured since 1 August 2017

<30% Of people who had contact with patients can be traced.

26% Of required funding received.

Situation overview

Although plague is endemic in Madagascar, this season has been uncharacteristic: it started a month early, has been predominately of the pneumonic form, and has most affected the largest urban centers of Madagascar (Antananarivo and Toamasina). Many of the districts currently affected have no experience of the disease, which represents another challenge in addition to the difficulties in controlling the epidemic in urban areas.

The total number of cases (1,192) is already three times higher than the average annual total (September to April).

Medical and non-medical responses to pneumonic plague (as compared to the bubonic form) is challenging in urban environments due to population density and mass transit.

The capital Antananarivo, a transport and trade hub, has been most affected. The urban context increases the risks for health workers, and 54 medical staff have been infected to date. The epidemic is also started to have socioeconomic repercussions.


As of October 19, only 26 per cent of the $9.5 million requested in the Joint Response Plan of Government and partners have been received. The funds received to date have been largely consumed.

WHO provided $1.5 million, UNICEF $600,000, IFRC $253,000, UNDP $200,000, UNFPA $331,000, and Italy $100,000. In-kind contributions were received from China ($200,000 in medicines) USAID ($18,000 of masks respirators, 100,000 simple masks, and 10 vehicles to support the operations of the Ministry of Public Health).

Contributions from the private sector are increasing. The Oilers Group donated $16,000 to the Plague Response Crisis Cell; Canal + offered free message broadcasting; DHL offered storage facilities; Ambatovy has donated personal protective equipment and other necessitates to strengthen the medical response; the Orange Solidarity of Madagascar Foundation and the BFV Bank - Société Générale have also contributed protective equipment.

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