Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and remains one of the leading causes of death among young children.  These deaths are avoidable as a measles vaccine exists which is both effective and inexpensive. However, in developing countries, children are usually not vaccinated due to wars, poverty and a lack of immunization programs, thus leaving them vulnerable to the disease.

In 2013, MSF treated 129.870 people for measles and vaccinated 2.497.255 people in response to measles outbreaks.

Story from the field

Paola Farias, MSF doctor and emergency coordinator, Ethiopia

The team vaccinated about 1.500 people each day. Before starting, we would explain to our local staff that we would be vaccinating this many people per day. It seemed unbelievable to them, almost impossible. One would carry the vaccine, another would prepare the dosage, yet another would gather the people and put them in a queue. All the doctor and the nurse had to do was to vaccinate.

In less than two months, MSF vaccinated more than 100.000 people. 

And the entire team felt immensely rewarded.