More than 1,200 people have died in the ongoing measles outbreak in Madagascar, the biggest in the country’s history.
Over 115,000 are affected by the vaccine-preventable disease here.
While resistance to vaccination due to the spread of misinformation is the reason is many parts of the world, including the US, for the spread of the disease, lack of resources is the main reason in the poor African nation.
Only 58 per cent of people on Madagascar’s main island has been vaccinated against measles, while a rate of 90 per cent to 95 per cent or higher is needed to prevent outbreaks. Influence of religion or of traditional health practitioners is also a factor, but a minor one.
Poverty here often makes people unable to even afford to visit a doctor. Many parents are also not aware that vaccines are provided free in public health facilities.
Most of the dead are children under 15.