Giving Compass’ Take:
• Nicolas Peyraud details the challenges of fighting measles and Ebola simultaneously in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
• How can funders work to boost the capacity and resources of communities impacted by these diseases? How can vaccination access decrease the burden of healthcare systems in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo?
• Learn about the role of vaccination in global health.
Measles and Ebola are two highly contagious and deadly viruses that are devastating communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
This is the first time that outbreaks of both diseases have occurred on such a large scale within the same geographical area.
In an area affected by Ebola, the vast majority of medical resources are mobilised to prevent the spread of the virus and manage suspected or confirmed cases of Ebola.
When medical staff and equipment are already limited, epidemiological surveillance and medical care for patients may deteriorate for other diseases, such as measles.
Management of patient care is also a challenge as measles patients and Ebola patients may have similar symptoms (fever, rash, vomiting or diarrhoea). This makes triage difficult for the teams in health centres as they are not always trained to correctly identify these two diseases.
This can be a significant issue if a measles patient is hospitalised in an Ebola treatment centre and vice versa.
Communities can often be reluctant to come to local health centres when they are sick, fearing being identified as suspected to have Ebola and then being isolated. It is therefore very complicated to manage two outbreaks of this scale at the same time, in the same place.
Read the full article about fighting measles and Ebola by Nicolas Peyraud at Doctors Without Borders.
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