Since the beginning of the epidemic in Madagascar in March 2020 and till April 28th, 2021, 36,696 people were officially diagnosed positive for COVID-19. The first state of health emergency was declared over in October 2020. The period October 2020 to March 2021 was relatively quiet. Since beginning of March, numbers kept on increasing with a peak towards the 3rd week of April. The national vigilance revealed in March presence of South African variant up to 30% of the specimen tested. This variant is much more aggressive and is infecting younger age groups, though mortality seems still in the older age group. The four most affected regions remain Analamanga, Diana (Nosy Be), Atsinanana, Boeny.
Since April 7th, 2021, the Government of Madagascar officially joined the global COVID-19 vaccine COVAX programme to procure COVID-19 vaccines for Madagascar’s population and applied also to the African Union (AU) pledge to procure COVID-19 vaccines.
Having played a crucial role in O2 therapy during the 2020 response, after the 1st wave had passed and since August 2020, UNICEF health section had launched discussions with the MOH and the World Bank (WB) to ensure high level of preparedness on this aspect to better respond to a possible 2nd wave and contribute to Health System Strengthening on medical oxygen for the whole country. The World bank had secured some funds for this through MOH during the last quarter 2020. Unfortunately, and despite numerous tentative from the health section to speed-up the preparation, MOH only opened up to UNICEF support in March 2021. Finally, an agreement between UNICEF and MOH for O2 management was signed in April to better respond to the O2 demand during the on-going 2nd wave. From April 23rd, UNICEF has taken over the O2 response country wide
Further to the emergency cash transfer programme, Tosika Fameno, which supported more than 368,000 families in 2020, social protection and economic recovery interventions in urban areas have initiated by the national agency FID to cover about 300,000 families in urban areas, with support of the World Bank. UNICEF's action has so far focused on maintaining the regular social protection programme in rural areas, due to a lack of funds to finance additional emergency social protection interventions. UNICEF issued a briefing note been in April analyzing the impact of the pandemic on children in Madagascar. The note utilizes the result of a rapid survey on the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 on children (ERISC).
From August 2020 until April 2021, UNICEF provides WASH services to approximately 1,250,000 people (51% are women and girls). Thanks to these interventions, about 1,000,000 people have participated in the hygiene promotion campaign and received hygiene kits and supplies (including buckets, jerrycans, soap, handwashing devices, and water treatment products).