Institution: Malagasy Red Cross Society

IFRC Secretary General calls for global support for plague response in Madagascar

Antananarivo/ Geneva, 19 October 2017—The Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Elhadj As Sy has appealed for international support for Madagascar’s plague response, at the end of an emergency visit to the Indian Ocean island nation. “We remain very concerned about this outbreak,” said Mr Sy. “It is in many ways a multi-dimensional crisis that involves illness, fear, stigma and discrimination. The response also needs to be multi-dimensional – addressing all these factors in parallel, with active involvement of communities. “Chief among these priorities is the need to scale up treatment while also supporting the National Society to raise awareness within the communities – this is critical to containing and quickly ending this outbreak,” said Mr Sy. IFRC has launched an international emergency appeal for 5.5 million Swiss francs to expand the already growing Red Cross response. This comes on the back of an announcement last week of a 1 million Swiss franc allocation from the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). This allocation has already enabled the deployment of nearly 20 medical and technical staff to support volunteers on the ground, alongside medical equipment and medicines to treat plague. The Malagasy Red Cross is working with partners to transport the sick to hospitals safely, and it is also going house to house in communities providing information on the plague and...

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IFRC Secretary General visits Madagascar as Red Cross scales up plague response

Geneva/Antananarivo, 18 October – The Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Elhadj As Sy, arrives later today in Madagascar as the Red Cross response to the plague outbreak continues. Mr Sy will spend Thursday 19 October meeting with Red Cross officials and volunteers involved in the response, as well as senior government figures. Mr Sy will announce a major international appeal for Madagascar. According to the Malagasy government, more than 800 cases of plague have been reported. Seventy-four people have died. More than 70 per cent of all cases are pneumonic plague – the most virulent form of the bacteria. IFRC has deployed equipment for a plague treatment centre to Madagascar that is expected to arrive in the coming days. The organization has also released 1 million Swiss francs from its Disaster Relief and Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the initial scale up of response efforts. More than 2,660 Malagasy Red Cross volunteers are being mobilized, and are already playing a critical role in community surveillance and contact tracing...

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About the IFRC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies is the world's largest humanitarian network and is guided by seven Fundamental Principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, universality and unity.