Via L'Express de Madagascar, an October 21 report: Health workers hunted down in Toamasina. The edited Google translation:
Outreach, surveillance and response to the plague in Toamasina nearly turned sour the day before yesterday. Health workers and volunteers working in the fight against the plague epidemic have been hunted by furious inhabitants.
The latter provided themselves with wood and even knives, to frighten them. "Some malicious people told them about a vaccine campaign against the plague. They believed it and refused to receive our agents," said Dr. Raymond Rakotoarimananale, Regional Director of Public Health Antsinanana, on the phone.
The Minister of Public Health, Professor Mamy Lalatiana Andriamanarivo said that the vaccine against the plague does not exist.
As a result of this violent reaction, the DRSP Antsinanana decided to temporarily suspend activities at the community level the day before yesterday. This suspension of activities could expose some people who came into contact with patients, to the disease, thus, cause the appearance of new cases. Chemo contact prophylaxis and disinfection are mandatory to prevent the spread of the bacteria.
The Regional Directorate of Public Health has requested collaboration with local authorities, like the fokontany [village/neighbourhood] leaders, to solve this problem as quickly as possible. Yesterday afternoon, teams started making raids.
"Fortunately, the situation has calmed down," says the doctor who ensures the continuation of activities.
In Toamasina, the plague epidemic is more or less controlled. Yesterday, there were only twenty-four patients hospitalized, against a hundred in Antananarivo. New cases of plague victims could still reappear, in case there is a lack of vigilance.