Battling what is said to be the worst Yellow Fever outbreak in the country, Angola is struggling to contain its spread.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescents Societies (IFRC) on Wednesday launched $14 million emergency appeal to support the Angola Red Cross Society respond to the outbreak.
“Tragically, more than 350 people in Angola have already died from this outbreak,” said Dr Adinoyi Adeiza, IFRC Health Coordinator, Africa region.
“People are understandably anxious and it is important that we engage them to help address their fears and dispel possible superstitions, and to ultimately support them in understanding what they can do to prevent the spread of yellow fever,” he said.
With suspected cases reported in all of Angola’s 18 provinces since December 2015 ,the money will be paddled towards scaling up community-based campaigns already underway in the country.
“The need for a large-scale community engagement approach is increasingly important as vaccination campaigns scale up,” said Dr Julie Lyn Hall, IFRC Director of Health. “As much as we try to provide solutions, it is the communities who are the drivers of the response and are the key to the success of it.”
The resurgence of yellow fever in Angola is attributed to a sharp drop in health funding -according to the IFRC.
Government’s revised budget for health this year is about 33% lower than its allocation in 2015, making vaccines more difficult to purchase.