At the beginning of 2020, large swathes of the country were still gripped by the measles epidemic, especially the southern regions, which saw a sharp increase in cases. During the first quarter of the year, the Ministry of Public Health reported 7,412 suspected cases. In Beboto district, the Doctors Without Borders (MSF) emergency response team supported local health authorities by providing treatment and vaccines. Our team learned that some families had lost three or four children to measles, and that many sick patients were not seeking care or using only traditional medicines.
Consequently, we worked closely with community leaders to raise awareness about measles prevention and the free medical treatment available at MSF-supported health facilities. In Kyabé district, we ran a measles vaccination campaign and treated children suffering from other life-threatening diseases such as malaria and malnutrition. In the Goundi district, we treated children affected by measles, but COVID-19- related restrictions prevented us from proceeding with a vaccination campaign.
In the capital, N’Djamena, as in previous years, we supported the treatment of severely malnourished children during the ‘lean season’, between June and September. In 2020, frequent stock outs of ready-to-use therapeutic foods led us to donate supplies. In Moissala, our teams continued to work on improving access to all levels of medical services for women and children, from villages to hospital. We also conducted a large-scale seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign to reduce the devastating effects of complications of the disease on children.
To support the authorities’ response to the COVID-19 pandemic, we donated a central oxygen concentrator to Farcha referral hospital in N’Djamena to reinforce capacity to treat severely affected patients. We also provided medical and logistical support, ran health promotion sessions, and distributed masks and other items to help limit the spread of the virus.
No. staff in 2020: 330 (FTE) » Expenditure in 2020: €11.7 million MSF first worked in the country: 1981