"Ten-fold rise" in new cases of malaria in Chad
An emergency operation is under way in the Salamat region of Chad after an "alarming" rise in cases of malaria.
Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) said the number of reported new cases rose from 1,228 in the first week of August to 14,021 by the end of the month.
Cases of the mosquito-borne disease do peak during the July to November rainy season.
But MSF Health Advisor for Chad Dr Turid Piening said the sudden high spike in this area is unusual.
She said: "More than 80% of people who are coming for consultations are coming because they are infected with malaria, normally its 30%-40% at this time of year.
Halima Ibrahim Mother of malaria patient"Many people in our village were attacked by a strange spirit that made them shiver and act in a crazy way.”
"It is now the top illness diagnosed in our clinics and that is unusual for this area."
A quarter of all deaths in Chad are attributed to malaria and it is the most common cause of death for children, according to MSF.
Latest available figures from the World Health Organization show more than 650,000 people died around the world from the disease in 2010, most of them children in Africa."Strange Spirit"........