File photo shows Madagascar's President Hery Rajaonarimampianina (2nd,R) displays a bag of rice during a hand-over ceremony of emergency food aid in Tamatave, Madagascar, June 19, 2017. (Xinhua/Wen Hao)
ANTANANARIVO, Oct. 14 (Xinhua) -- China has handed over a package of medical supplies to Madagascar for it to fight an epidemic of plague that has killed 57 people in the past three months.
Speaking at a ceremony held here, Chinese Ambassador to Madagascar Yang Xiaorong said the package of supplies worth 220,000 U.S dollars is a gift from the Chinese government and the Chinese people to Madagascar's government and the Malagasy people.
Some of supplies in the package, such as medical equipment, antibiotics, clothing, masks and protective gloves, can be used immediately, said Yang.
Madagascar's Ministry of Public Health said Thursday that death toll from the plague reached 57 in Madagascar from Aug. 1 to Oct. 12.
Madagascar's Minister of Public Health Lalatiana Andriamananarivo addresses journalists in Antananarivo, capital of Madagascar, Sept. 28, 2017. (Xinhua/Eric Laperozy)
Yang promised that "the Chinese Embassy and the Chinese doctors remain ready to work with the Madagascar's Ministry of Public Health and local teams to deal with this infectious disease, continue and expand medical and health cooperation in the future."
There are currently 30 Chinese doctors working with Malagasy doctors in four hospitals to treat patients suffering from the plague, she said.
Plague is caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, a zoonotic bacteria usually found in small mammals and their fleas.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), from 2010 to 2015, there were 3,248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths.