154 kids die of measles in Southern PakistanSouce:Xinhua Publish By Thomas Whittle Updated 31/12/2012 5:02 am in World / 1 comment
ISLAMABAD, Dec. 30 — At least seven children died of measles in Pakistan’s southern province of Sindh on Sunday, bringing the death toll to 154 in such incidents over the last 29 days, local media reported.
Local Urdu TV channel Dunya quoted hospital sources as saying that the disease broke out in the children of two to nine years of age during the last week of October in the Upper Sindh areas which were affected by floods earlier in August and September this year.
The health officials said that over 1200 measles-affected children have been shifted to various hospitals since November and more such patients are being brought into hospitals and dispensaries.
Local health officials said that the major reason behind such a massive spread of disease is malnutrition and unhygienic condition in which the affected kids are living.
Health Secretary Dr. Aftab Ahmed Khatri said that most of the affected children were living together in congested streets and were passing the disease to other children.
Measles is highly contagious and it spreads by a virus that is preventable by proper immunization but the disease became fatal in the province due to negligence of the health authorities.
Talking to media, families of the affected kids said that the concerned authorities did not provide any relief to them, and the stagnant rain water is still surrounding their houses even after the passage of three months.
According to an official press release by the Sindh health ministry, an anti-measles vaccination drive has been launched in the affected areas during which 130,004 children have been vaccinated so far.
Over 20 camps have been set up in the province where children are being vaccinated under the supervision of district health officials.
Sindh Chief Minister took notice of the situation and lashed provincial health authorities of their negligence, saying that the disease could have been controlled if proper vaccination was given to the children at early stage of the eruption of the disease.
This is the second major outbreak of the disease in Sindh since the beginning of this year. Earlier in June, World Health Organization (WHO) said that an estimated 27 children under five years died due to measles in the province.