Measles outbreak


Adoor-to-door vaccination campaign against the preventable measles, which during the last one month or so, had claimed over 22 deaths in different districts of Sindh, is the only answer to help stop the frequent outbreaks of the contagious disease.

According to reports, more than 147 children had died and over 300 outbreaks have been reported in Sindh during 2012.

It is astonishing to note that that officials concerned, despite knowing that the measles is a leading cause of child mortality in the country, have not yet taken measures for ensuring cent per cent immunisation coverage by increasing the number of vaccination centres across the province which has been badly affected as far as the disease was concerned.

Attributing the frequent outbreaks of preventable disease to poor routine immunisation coverage, paediatricians have reportedly called for increasing the number of vaccination centres across the country.

In fact, the death of four children reportedly due to measles in Sukkur in the last fortnight has put renewed focus on the contagious disease which, according to the World Health Organisation,is a major cause of child mortality in Pakistan.

Though measles cases have been reported from different parts of the country, Sindh has been badly affected, giving rise to suspicion that it was merely because of poor routine immunization coverage which is carried out by Sindh government under its Expanded Programme of Immunisation(EPI).

On the one hand, paediatricians have been repeatedly calling for increasing the number of vaccination centres across the country and,on the other, doctors blame the frequent outbreaks of the disease to a drop in routine immunization.

It is for this reason that door-to-door vaccination campaign was the only answer and, as such, it is obligatory upon the authorities concerned to launch the immunisation drive vigorously across the province so as to dispel the impression that the frequent outbreaks were the outcome of poor immunization coverage.

The government is also required to take measures for providing safety to vaccinators as they reportedly more often face resistance while performing their duties particularly in upper Sindh. It is earnestly hoped that the authorities concerned in cooperation with elected representatives and elders of villages would leave no stone unturned in ensuring hundred per cent immunization coverage.

January 2, 2013

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