Measles outbreak in Sindh

MEASLES virus has reportedly claimed ten more lives in two days in different districts of Sindh province, adding to dozens of deaths since the apparent outbreak began last month. Six children died on Sunday and four others on Monday. Given the current situation, we expect that the Sindh government will do the needful by launching mass scale vaccination and awareness campaign to check further spread of this virus and save the life of young souls.
The outbreak in Sindh has come at the heels of World Health Organisation (WHO) recent report which states that Pakistan not only is experiencing a significantly higher number of measles cases than the entire region but cases also rose by more than one hundred percent in 2017, compared to the previous year. These figures substantiated by the outbreak in Sindh indicate that Pakistan is on the verge of a measles catastrophe and this indeed should ring alarm bells in the relevant federal and provincial departments and they need to come up with a firm joint action plan to reverse the course of the crisis. According to health experts, measles reduces a child’s ability to fight other diseases resulting in frequent illnesses. Measles deplete the body of Vitamin A and any child who has contracted measles can develop problems such as diarrhoea, pneumonia and even blindness due to Vitamin A depletion as well as encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) which can result in brain damage, hearing loss and even death. No specific treatment against measles is available since it is a viral infection, hence vaccination is the only way to prevent the infection and related complications. We, therefore, will ask the relevant quarters to immediately launch a nationwide anti-measles drive on the pattern of anti-polio campaign targeting maximum coverage. Heavy responsibility also rests with the parents that they also ensure vaccination of their children in the age bracket of nine to fifteen months in order to save them from this highly infectious and deadly disease.

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