Kandhkot measles death toll rises to 413


Wednesday, January 16, 2013 - Karachi—Death toll due to measles epidemic across the country has climbed to 413 as eight more children affected of the disease expired on Tuesday in Kadhkot area of Sindh. According to details, despite tall claims of the provincial and health authorities, measles which broke out from different districts of Sindh was spreading its wings to other provinces. Sindh was hit by measles where a total of 391 children died of the deadly disease and 146 children become the victim in Kandhkot district. In Sukkur district, 77 children have died of the disease so far.

The provincial health authorities have claimed of administering measles vaccine to about 2.9 million children under a crash programme in interior Sindh but the locals in few cities have complained against non-availability of anti-measles vaccine. They said that people were facing severe difficulty due to vaccine shortage. Most affected areas include Kandhkot, Kashmore, Tangwani and 80 other villages.

It should be mentioned that so far 10 children in Punjab, nine in Balochistan and three children in Mohmand Agency have died of measles. The countrymen have demanded the health authorities to take solid steps to stop spread of measles in other cities of the country.

Meanwhile World Health Organization (WHO) has reached over 2.9 million children for vaccination against measles in its campaign in eight districts of Sindh. According to WHO, children from the age of nine months to 10 years have been vaccinated during the campaign which was started as an emergency response to the outbreak in the province. Country Representative of WHO in Pakistan, Dr. Guido Sabatinelli said that a total of 1,300,000 vaccine doses have been dispatched by the authorities.

He added WHO is recommending adequate steps both on emergency and long-term basis to the provincial governments to ensure that routine immunization coverage is made accessible to each and every child.—INP

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