China offers medical supplies for Madagascar to fight plague

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China on Thursday handed over a package of medical supplies to Madagascar to help fight an epidemic of plague that has killed 57 people in the past three months, Xinhua reports.

Chinese Ambassador to Madagascar Yang Xiaorong said that the package of supplies worth $ 220,000 is a gift from the Chinese government and the Chinese people to Madagascar’s government and the Malagasy people.

The package contained medical supplies including, antibiotics, clothing, masks and protective gloves.

As of Thursday, the death toll from the plague was 57, this according to the country’s Ministry of Public Health.

“The Chinese Embassy and the Chinese doctors remain ready to work with the Madagascar’s Ministry of Public Health and local teams to deal with this infectious disease, continue and expand medical and health cooperation in the future.” Yang promised

There are currently 30 Chinese doctors working with Malagasy doctors in four hospitals to treat patients suffering from the plague. She further said.

Plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria usually found in small mammals and their fleas, according to the World Health Organization.

Madagascar typically sees around 400 cases of the bubonic plague each year, with the illness typically spread through flea bites and contact with infected bodily fluids.

Plague is known to be endemic on the Plateaux of Madagascar and a seasonal upsurge usually occurs early every year between September and April.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), from 2010 to 2015, there were 3,248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths.