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Response to epidemics

When facing epidemics, the Field Epidemiology Department conducts investigations in the field, in order to guide the operational response of MSF teams and to adjust the deployment of means.


Whooping cough in the Mangalmé district, Chad

Since June 2010, the French section of Médecins sans Frontières (MSF-F) began to support the Ministry of health in the coverage of children suffering from severe malnutrition in the Mangalmé district. The MSF-F program includes a Nutritional Therapeutic Hospital Centre (CNTH) in the city of Mangalmé, and 5 Outpatient Therapeutic Nutritional Centres (CNTA) in Mangalmé, Amgarkoye, Eref, Abreye (Eref health area) and Bitchotchi.

In order to have better visibility on whooping cough cases dynamics in the Mangalmé district and in bordering districts, in terms of time (epidemic curve), places (spatial case distribution) and people (most affected age group), Epicentre was asked by MSF to make an epidemiological investigation on whooping cough in the sector.


Measles in Lubumbashi

In 2010, measles epidemics were detected in several areas of the Katanga Province. On week 42, in the city of Lubumbashi, the epidemic suspicion threshold was crossed. 7 weeks later, a very rapid increase in case number was observed.

To face this epidemic, MSF and the Ministry of health counterattacked through:

  • free health care;
  • vaccination campaigns for infants and children 6 months to 15 year old.

MSF asked Epicentre to set up a monitoring system, to describe the outbreak and to make an investigation on measles vaccine coverage.