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MSF withdraws from Toliara Province

Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said this week that it was withdrawing its teams from the Toliara Province in Madagascar. MSF said in a statement that the withdrawal was in response to the refusal by the authorities to allow MSF access to treat cholera victims. MSF said that a cholera epidemic has been devastating Madagascar for more than ten months, and that it was "progressing at an alarming rate throughout the entire country." "Any and all prevention and treatment measures undertaken by the authorities have up to this point been unsuccessful in averting the aggravation and spreading of this disease," Thierry Durand, Operations Director at MSF-Switzerland said. According to MSF the number of cholera cases have surpassed 15,500 with five out of the six provinces being affected. It said that more than 1,000 people had died, more than a third of these in the past month. "The equivalent of ten deaths a day," MSF said. The mortality rate in Toliara Province was 14 percent, but "the true figures were most likely higher," MSF added. It said that only when the mortality rate was brought under 5 percent could the epidemic be considered as "under control". MSF has been in Toliara Province for three years supporting the National Health Programme to meet its long-term public health development objectives and also to respond to emergency situations.

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information:

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