Madagascar – The Foundation is helping fight the plague epidemic.


Following the plague epidemic that broke out on the island in August, the Fondation Pierre Fabre has funded a grant for medicines to be given to Madagascar’s Ministry of Health. As of 8 November, 2,034 cases of plague had been reported, including 1,565 cases of the pulmonary form and 297 cases of the bubonic form, resulting in 165 deaths (Source: WHO).

The Fondation Pierre Fabre has joined forces with the Antananarivo-based Institut Malgache des Recherches Appliquées (IMRA), a Fondation Pierre Fabre partner in the fight against sickle-cell disease on the island. This institute specialises in biochemical research focused on providing better treatment to local populations through the use of endemic Madagascan plants. In fact, it was the IMRA that guided the Fondation Pierre Fabre in its choice of initiative based on the Ministry of Health’s greatest areas of need. This grant from the Fondation Pierre Fabre is in keeping with its statutes, which permit taking action to help populations that are “plunged into severe crisis by political or economic upheaval and/or natural disaster”.

Medications delivered to the Minister of Health

The plague is an endemic disease in Madagascar and cases of bubonic plague are reported there almost every year. The current epidemic, however, differs in that it has appeared in densely populated areas and coastal cities, where the disease is not endemic, and has a particularly strong lung component.

The Fondation Pierre Fabre’s grant has made it possible to buy medicines and equipment listed in the plague control protocol. The drugs and medical devices were officially delivered on Tuesday, 5 December 2017, by Charles Andrianjara, Executive Director of IMRA, in the presence of the Minister of Public Health, Professor Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo (photo).

The drugs and medical devices officially delivered by Charles Andrianjara, Executive Director of IMRA, to the Minister of Public Health, Professor Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo

So as to treat all cases for free, crisis cells have been activated in the country’s capital of Antananarivo and in the city of Toamasina. A number of public-health measures have been implemented to help contain the epidemic: investigation of new cases, isolation and treatment of all cases of pulmonary plague, active search for contacts and administration of chemoprophylaxis, intensified epidemiological monitoring in affected and surrounding districts, insecticide treatments in affected areas, rodent and vector control, public awareness campaigns on plague prevention, healthcare-worker education and supply of information to improve case detection and infection-control measures, and information on the infection-control measures to be taken during burials. (WHO)