PLAGUE RESPONSE

U.S. ANNOUNCES $2 MILLION IN ADDITIONAL PLAGUE RESPONSE

The total U.S. contribution to plague response in Madagascar is now $3.5 million

ANTANANARIVO — U.S. Ambassador Robert T. Yamate today announced an additional $2 million from the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Emergency Reserve Fund to help the people of Madagascar respond to this year’s plague outbreak.  The American people have provided a total of $3.5 million to the effort of managing Madagascar’s unexpectedly prolific outbreak of plague.  While plague cases have decreased in urban areas, the nation is just entering the time of year when the number of plague cases normally peak.  Continued vigilance is key to forestall a return of cases in urban areas and to ensure outbreaks are managed in rural and endemic areas, where nearly 66 percent of Malagasy people live.

This new funding will be used to help treat plague patients, make information available to Malagasy people, and engage communities across Madagascar in taking an active role in outbreak response.  These funds will also strengthen surveillance to ensure that the disease can be detected early and reinforce laboratory capacity for timely diagnosis.  Lastly, USAID will provide critically needed medication, personal protective equipment and other health products.

Ambassador Yamate reiterated that, “USAID and other development partners have collaborated effectively with the Malagasy government to manage the urban areas plague outbreak.  Working through existing platforms and systems, USAID will continue to support the Government of Madagascar’s efforts to respond to plague in Madagascar as the season continues.”   With partners operating in 15 of 22 regions of Madagascar, a USAID-supported network of 15,000 community health volunteers, village leaders, women’s groups and associations will be at the forefront of the Government’s response helping their communities build resilient systems.

The U.S. Government recognizes the need for improved communication, mobilization and community engagement.  These funds will also support ongoing national media and broadcast messaging efforts to ensure correct information is relayed to the Malagasy people about plague.

USAID’s implementing partners JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc., Management Sciences for Health, Population Services International, Institut Pasteur de Madagascar, and JHPIEGO will work closely with the Government of Madagascar and development partners to ensure that all plague response efforts are coordinated.

These funds underscore the U.S Government’s partnership with the Government of Madagascar and commitment to improving the lives of Malagasy people.  As plague season continues for several more months, it is crucial to remain vigilant in the face of this outbreak and the American people stand ready to support the Malagasy people in this effort.