Ebola is a highly-infectious virus, considered one of the deadliest diseases once contracted. First identified in 1976, its largest epidemic hit West Africa in 2013. While the emergency was declared over in 2016, deadly outbreaks have continued to spread in countries like Democratic Republic of Congo (DNC).
Let’s face the facts: The fight against infectious disease is far from over. Here’s why.
Tuberculosis (TB) is the deadliest infectious disease in the world. Often thought of as a disease of the past, a recent resurgence and spread of drug-resistant strains keeps this airborne virus in need of medical attention – especially in developing countries.
The mortality rate
is an average of
In 2018, water and sanitation expert Paul Jawor was deployed to Democratic Republic of Congo, where a confirmed case of Ebola had disrupted a small town. Jawor and his team built treatment centers for those infected or suspected of contamination.
People have to know why they need to be vaccinated as well as what they need to be vaccinated against. The procedures also need to be explained and understood – who has to be where and at what time. Vaccination campaigns like this are one of the few activities where you know the impact at the end of a day – every vaccinated person is one less who will get sick!
Infectious diseases around the world
Doctors Without Borders treated
cases of cholera
TB is 1 of 3 main killer infectious diseases, along with malaria and HIV/AIDS
Since August 1, there have been over
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Photo credit: MSF
Photo credit: TANZANIA 2015 © Erwan Rogard/MSF
With an outbreak like this, it’s a race against time. One Ebola patient with symptoms can infect several people every day. The best way to contain the disease is to put all measures in place as soon as possible. My colleagues met with the community and its leaders to explain what we were coming to do and to raise awareness about Ebola; how it can be transmitted and the measures to take to prevent its spread.
Cholera is a highly-contagious disease that occurs in settings without clean water or proper sanitation. Despite being entirely preventable, cholera outbreaks infect millions in some of the harshest environments including war zones, the aftermath of natural disasters and refugee camps.
Nurse Heidi Anguria was stationed in Bangladesh, where 800,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to escape persecution in Myanmar. Heidi was responsible for the cholera vaccination mobilization of refugees along with roughly 200,000 Bangladeshis, a joint effort with the World Health Organization and Bangladesh’s Ministry of Health.
Yemen had over
When a child has TB, it can be very difficult to diagnose the disease in the first place. Even once a diagnosis is made, treatment can take a very long time (in some cases, years) and it can be an extremely painful process. In the final, most promising chapter of this story, Anna was cured of extensively drug-resistant TB in November of 2017.
of people with TB remain undiagnosed
Medical science has made great strides in curing infectious illnesses. But in the world’s most vulnerable communities, it’s still an ongoing war fought daily by patients and medical professionals. Doctors Without Borders is on the front lines of some of the most urgent, yet preventable, global health threats. Read on to learn about these dangerous illnesses and join this cause today.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières is committed to fighting infectious diseases in the world’s most vulnerable communities, but they can’t do it alone.
Join the battle against infectious disease today.
DRC declared its 10th outbreak of Ebola in 20 years in 2018.
This year in DRC, there have been 216 cases and 104 deaths from Ebola
Sources: Doctors Without Borders, Doctors Without Borders staff blog, http://www.blogs.msf.org/bloggers/heidi-anguria, Doctors Without Borders Donation FAQ
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In Bangladesh, Doctors Without Borders helped administer over 900,000 cholera vaccinations in 7 days
people for cholera
& was contracted by
Kyle McNally, an Advocacy Manager stationed with Doctors Without Borders in Tajikistan, saw many children diagnosed and treated for TB in this region. One child, Anna, contracted a
drug-resistant TB and was treated with a combination of some of the only new TB drugs developed in the last 50 years. It was a regimen that had never been tried before.
water and sanitation expert
Photo credit: MSF
Over 89 percent of donations to Doctors Without Borders go directly to healthcare programs that treat people in need. The generosity of donors can help eradicate preventable, infectious diseases and develop new treatments for deadly strains. By joining their effort, you too can be part of the solution and save lives around the world.