With years of experience campaigning for access to essential medicines in South African, Doctors Without Borders (MSF) fieldworker Claire Waterhouse, fou
MSF Alert: Five epidemics to watch out for
Outbreaks of cholera, measles and meningitis are common in resource-poor settings, despite affordable and efficient vaccinations being available. High seasonal peaks of malaria go unreported, and therefore the health response remains insufficient; and outbreaks of the lesser-known illnesses such as dengue and Chikungunya have recently been reported in new countries and areas.
These are all epidemics that could either erupt or worsen in 2016, and we need to be prepared. Vaccination needs should be identified and addressed pre-emptively, surveillance should be reinforced, responses should be adapted as the one-size-fits-all approach often does not work, and R&D for diagnostic tests and treatments should be prioritised.