THE Mothers’ Union (MU) in Madagascar is calling for Christians in the region to unite for a day of prayer and fasting, after at least 40 people died in an outbreak of plague.
The president of the Mothers’ Union in the Anglican Province of the Pacific Ocean, Marie-Pierrette Bezara, joined her colleagues in Madagascar to ask God to save the island from the disease.
The latest epidemic began in late August. So far, 40 have died, and hundreds are infected. Pneumonic plague, which can be spread person to person through the air, is easily treated with modern medicine, but there are about 400 cases a year in Madagascar. Women must pray that “the God of mercy save the Malagasy people from this horrible disease”, Ms Bezara said.
Jocelyne Razafiarivony, from the Madagascar MU, said: “We pray day and night that God would preserve Malagasy people from disease. We pray for God’s forgiveness for all our sins, and pray that the government may be able to cope. Be assured we will unite in prayer and fasting this Friday.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has shipped millions of doses of antibiotics, which can cure plague if it is treated early enough, to Madagascar, and the government has taken steps to ban public gatherings and sports events.
“Plague is curable, if detected in time,” the WHO’s Madagascar representative, Dr Charlotte Ndiaye, said. “Our teams are working to ensure that everyone at risk has access to protection and treatment. The faster we move, the more lives we save.”
This latest epidemic has particularly concerned health officials, as it has taken root in Madagascar’s urban areas, where conditions can help the disease spread more quickly.