5.1. On 1988 Epidemic
The recognition of the epidemic was very late. It was only
during the third month that the epidemiology department took over the
coordination and response to the epidemic.
The first measures taken, chemoprophylaxis treatment of close
contacts, is not a measure to stop an epidemic. Neither will the vaccination of
high risk groups during an epidemic achieve this objective. If due to resource
constraints a sufficient amount of vaccines is not available, a mapping of the
cases would allow the identification of the areas where cases originate and a
mass vaccination campaign in these specific areas might be more successful in
stopping an epidemic. This might possibly be done in conjunction with high risk
group vaccinations in the other areas.
The requests for international assistance did not include any
data on the extent of the epidemic or importance of the needs. This lack of
information lead to a delay in the