Charity launches mass measles vaccination programme
Healthcare charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has just launched a major measles vaccination programme in an Ethiopian refugee camp.
MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders, will be working at the Dolo Ado camps to treat refugees from Somalia who have fled to Ethiopia following a severe drought in their home country.
The vaccination programme has already been hugely successful and on its first day MSF was able to give 3,000 children a measles vaccination.
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It is thought over 118,000 refugees are currently living in the Dolo Ado camps with 78,000 people travelling from Somalia to Ethiopia already this year.
There has been a recent outbreak of measles in the camps and it has been particularly prevalent in the densely populated areas where people are suffering from malnutrition.
Guillem Perez, an emergency coordinator for the MSF told news agency AFP: “Malnutrition is very high, so if you mix malnutrition with measles, the scenario is very bad in terms of public health.”
“Among our 10 priorities, the first is vaccination campaign for measles,” Perez added.
Countries in the Horn of Africa are currently experiencing the one of worst droughts seen in decades and although Somalia has been the worst affected it has also hit Kenya and Uganda.
Meanwhile, a fourth camp in Ethiopia has just opened which is able to house 15,000 refugees.