17 October, 2017

Madagascar: Plague outbreak

A deadly outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague is spreading across Madagascar. This Emergency Appeal seeks 5.5 million Swiss francs to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Malagasy Red Cross Society to help and support two million people over 18 months. Our humanitarian work seeks to reduce the mortality and morbidity due to the plague outbreak in 22 priority regions. The focus of the appeal is on health, including health preparedness and disease prevention, and will include the provision of a plague treatment centre.

Download: Coversheet  |  Full appeal document


An outbreak of bubonic and pneumonic plague is spreading across Madagascar. The first victim died in August 2017, and by 12 October the deadly disease had spread to 31 districts, killing 57. The majority of these cases are of the highly contagious pneumonic plague.
Both bubonic and pneumonic plague are treatable and preventable, but Madagascar’s health system cannot cope without support.
The Malagasy Red Cross and IFRC response will provide a plague treatment centre alongside health services and disease prevention activities in 22 priority districts.

IFRC Appeal

5.5 million Swiss francs needed
to provide urgent humanitarian support 2 million people

Our impact

IFRC’s strength lies in the global to local nature of its worldwide network of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Our work to prevent the spread of plague in Madagascar, and to help the people and communities affected by the disease, is supported by health experts and disaster response professionals from the Benin Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, French Red Cross, German Red Cross, Finnish Red Cross, Netherlands Red Cross, Norwegian Red Cross, Rwanda Red Cross and Senegal Red Cross.

For regular updates on the humanitarian response to the plague outbreak, check ifrc.org and follow us on Twitter@Federation and @IFRCAfrica

Key figures

reported dead



volunteers active in communities