UNICEF concerned by Spread of measles

By Darlington Gatsi

UNITED Nations Children fund (UNICEF) has expressed concern over the continued rapid spread of measles in the country.

Measles broke out in Manicaland in April and Government last month evoked mechanism to deal with its spread.

As of yesterday the country had recorded 6 291 cases with over 700 fatalities.

Ministry of health is currently rolling out immunisation program of children from 6 months to four years.

In a statement UNICEF pledged to complement Government’s efforts to stem the spread of the contagious disease.

“UNICEF is deeply concerned with the numbers of cases and deaths among children due to a measles outbreak in Zimbabwe.

“UNICEF and partners are supporting the Government’s response and the Rapid Response Teams the Government has deployed in the affected districts.

“UNICEF assists the Government to control the outbreak through the tracking of cases in the community and through supplementary immunization activities.

“The measles campaign targets more than 2 million children aged between 6 months and 5 years and more than 4 million children aged 5 to 15 years,” read the statement.

Measles is expected to spread with schools reopening yesterday.

The spread of the disease is also being compounded by anti-modern medicine religious sects.

Health experts have called for legislation against anti-modern medicine churches.

UNICEF said it is working on addressing vaccine hesitancy that has gripped the majority of the populace especially in rural areas.

“Vaccine hesitancy in communities is addressed with Information, Education and Communication materials and interpersonal communication highlighting the benefits of the vaccines. UNICEF and partners are helping to collect and respond to misinformation and rumors circulating within communities.


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