International Committee of the Red Cross

Have we got an ambassador to Madagascar?

If we haven’t perhaps Murray McCully might like to put Trevor Mallard’s name forward as Ambassador to Madagascar.

His expertise in dealing with the feral animals in Labour could prove invaluable.

Madagascar is at risk of a major outbreak of bubonic plague unless it can clean up its rat-infested jails, health experts have warned.

The Indian Ocean island became the most severely affected country in the world last year, with 256 cases and 60 fatalities from the disease known as the “black death” when it swept through Europe in the 14th century.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Malagasy prison authorities have launched a campaign against rodents in Antanimora prison in the capital, Antananarivo, where 3,000 inmates are behind bars.

Christoph Vogt, head of the ICRC delegation in Madagascar, said: “The chronic overcrowding and the unhygienic conditions in prisons can bring on new cases of the disease. That’s dangerous not only for the inmates but also for the population in general.”  Read more »