Via MSF.org: Tanzania: 130,000 refugees vaccinated against cholera in the overcrowded Nyarugusu camp. Excerpt:
Kigoma/Geneva – A cholera vaccination campaign to protect Burundian and Congolese refugees in the overflowing Nyarugusu camp in Tanzania has been completed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) this week. However, with people still living in very precarious conditions, there is a parallel urgent need to improve the sanitary situation in the camp.
The second round of the campaign, in response to an outbreak that occurred among the refugees in May this year, was completed on Monday 27 July. More than 130,000 refugees were vaccinated in this round. The oral cholera vaccine, which must be administered in two doses, offers a high level of protection against the disease. However vaccination should be carried out together with other prevention and control measures, which are severely lacking today in the camp.
"Vaccination is an urgent and essential response, not only to prevent lives being lost, but to reduce the risk of new epidemics, sanitary conditions in the camp must be rapidly improved," says Sita Cacioppe, Emergency Coordinator for MSF.
The vaccination campaign was conducted in collaboration with the Tanzanian Ministry of Health, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). In the first round in June, 107,000 people – equivalent to 92 percent of the population at the time - received a first dose of the vaccine.
But insecurity around the elections in Burundi continues to push thousands of people across the Tanzanian border, and since the first round of vaccination, around 20,000 more people have been transported to the camp according to the UNHCR. A catch-up round will soon be organized to give a second dose to the newcomers whose overall vaccination status is unclear.