The Chad office of Medicines Sans Frontier (Doctors Without Borders) have launched emergency operations in Am Timan, Salamat region, Southeast Chad after a dramatic rise in malaria cases in the region from 1200 to 14000 in August 2013 alone.
Describing its response to the crisis, Jason Mills, head of MSF operations in Chad said “The goal of our emergency response is to improve the early diagnosis and treatment of non-severe malaria and to improve the management of severe and complicated forms of the disease”. He told the MSF website that part of the reason for the dramatic rise in Malaria cases in Am Timan town was because the population had very limited access to healthcare .”The majority of those dying of malaria right now are dying in their homes”. he said.
MSF emergency teams have been deployed in the area to try and reduce the sudden rise in malaria cases. Among other things, MSF intends to carry out public sensitization campaigns on how people could avoid mosquito bites and they also intend to distribute treated mosquito nets in the worst affected areas. It has also set up a tent near the main hospital in Am Timan town where it has been treating patients
Malaria now accounts for more than 80 percent of consultations in the area according to MSF figures.The humanitarian organization says it will continue its emergency response to the malaria crisis till the end of the rainy season in late November this year.
Most of the victims are under five years old, the most vulnerable group exposed to the mosquitoes whose bites cause malaria. One in every four deaths in Chad today is caused by malaria.
MSF established offices in Chad primarily because of armed conflict in the country, the prevalence of endemic diseases and its rudimentary healthcare system. Most Chadians have no access to healthcare despite the huge wealth generated by its many oil deposits.
Malaria kills around 660,000 globally each year people and infects more than 200 million. Ninety percent of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa.
Since its creation in December 1971, MSF gets most of its funding, about 90 percent from its 4.5 million donors around the world. Governments and other agencies provide the remaining 10 percent