Measles continues to spread in Central African Republic
In the last week of June, approximately 51 additional measles cases were reported in Birao, which is located near the Sudanese border. In the first week of July, there were three more new cases.
This area in the Central African Republic recently improved its access to Birao. Previously, there were few humanitarian organizations in the region. Now, United Nations Humanitarian Air Service is able to add Birao to its regular flight schedule, which will serve to increase supplies to patients with measles as well as relieve the pressure facing the medical personnel already present.
With support from various U.N. humanitarian agencies, the International Medical Corps is working to arrange a response to the outbreak. Throughout 2015, there have been different epidemics confirmed throughout the country. Experts attribute this variety to the weak immunization system in the country.
Additional resources are necessary for treating measles outbreaks in the Central African Republic.
“This year we are really suffering in terms of funding the WHO operations in the Central African Republic,” Michel Yao, the World Health Organization representative to the Central African Republic, said. “WHO has a gap of more than $14 million and have received only $500,000 this year. The needs for the whole humanitarian health sector are even greater, with another almost $40 million needed by Health Cluster partners, with less than $1.5 million provided. The health sector is very challenging.”