Global Alert and Response (GAR)

2002 - Yellow fever in Senegal - Update

11 October 2002

Disease Outbreak Reported

The Ministry of Health officially confirmed 15 cases and 2 deaths of yellow fever in Mbacké and Bambey départements, Diourbel region. Laboratory confirmation was made by the WHO Collaborating Centre at the Institut Pasteur in Dakar. All cases except one have been reported in the city of Touba. The other case was reported in Bambey, 70 km west of Touba.

A mass immunization campaign began on 1 October. A total of 322 000 people have been vaccinated in 2 health districts, Mbacké and Touba. National vaccine stocks are not sufficient to immunize the target population in Diourbel region and additional vaccine is needed.

In response to a request for international assistance from the Ministry of Health, WHO staff from the West Africa sub-regional team, the Regional Office for Africa and headquarters are in Senegal helping to contain the outbreak. The first members of the team arrived in Senegal on 10 October. They are working with the Ministry on the management of the vaccination campaign, including safety and monitoring for adverse events, enhancing yellow fever surveillance in the country and the coordination of the program to control the outbreak.

The Ministry has also requested additional vaccine and supplies. WHO and its partners in the yellow fever sub-group of the International Coordinating Group on Vaccine Provision (ICG), Médecins sans Frontières (MSF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and UNICEF are working to meet this request. Additional funds are urgently needed to complete this mass vaccination campaign.

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