Saturday, November 5, 2016

Yellow Fever Prevention in Angola

Between this past December and October, over 350 individuals died of yellow fever in the African country of Angola. This yellow fever outbreak is the worst one that Angola has seen in the past decade and, as a result, individuals have greatly worked to ramp up the vaccination rate in the country. People from WHO, UNICEF, and IFRC sent in 20 million vaccines to Angola and by this September, about 16 million people had been vaccinated, which is a relatively high amount considering there are 25 million people in Angola.

All the vaccination efforts as well as epidemiological surveillance efforts have led to no reported cases of yellow fever since June. However, rainy season is approaching and that is bringing great concern for the country and health organizations because Aedes aegypti mosquito is known to be most present during this season. While only so much can be done to eradicate a mosquito, the health administrators have turned to community mobilization efforts to increased information about prevention. UNICEF and IFRC have trained about 3,000 mobilizers that can spread information about the disease, sanitation, hand washing and breastfeeding to prevent yellow fever. These individuals are very helpful at helping spread awareness about the importance of the vaccine and help dispel myths about the vaccine leading to infertility.

Therefore, Angola has changed greatly since its past outbreak and has done a lot this past year to increase its awareness about and readiness for the viral disease.

Jeanette Rios

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