Measles outbreak adds to Pakistan's woes

world | Nov 25, 2010 | By Speroforum

Concern for health emergencies continues in Pakistan. After malaria, typhoid, dengue, cholera, now a serious outbreak of measles has already seen 11 deaths among children in the district of Dadu, in the southern province of Sindh. In many rural areas where there are no health facilities, midwives are committed to also providing basic health services.

Health workers in Dadu have demanded the opening of other immunization centres in hospitals in addition to the guarantee of places where this may be performed and reach a greater number of infected. The situation seems to be under control. According to local health authorities in the last two weeks about 4,000 children have been vaccinated. Further, among internally displaced people coverage for measles is 95%. This disease has killed up to 58 children a day and epidemics are still occurring in different parts of the country.

According to the WHO 2.1 million children are infected annually, while deaths due to complications are about 21,000. According to sources in Islamabad, the best means to prevent measles are vaccinations, in addition to a healthy diet and taking vitamin A to improve the immune system. In particular, in situations like this today in Pakistan where the people, due to flooding, are forced to live in close contact with each other in the fields, the levels of hygiene and poor nutrition have fostered the spread and contagion of disease.

According to the WHO, other than the deaths recorded in the district of Dadu, eight cases of measles have been reported in Ghotki, 20 in Dadu, 11 in Kashmore and three in the Naushero Feroze district, all in the Sindh province. Outside the province so far only one case in the north of Khyber-Pakhtoonkh'wa has been recorded. 

Source: FIDES



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