Measles: Afghanistan affected by rapid increase in measles outbreaks: WHO

KABUL: The World Health Organization (WHO) said that Afghanistan, due to lack of vaccine, has been hit by a rapid increase in the outbreak of measles.
A WHO spokeswoman, Margaret Harris, told reporters in Geneva via zoom that at least 87 children have died from measles this year, and the problem is getting worse due to a lack of vaccines, Tolo News reported.
“Unfortunately, we have had 87 deaths reported,” Harris said. “We will see so many more if we do not get on with this quickly.”
“For malnourished children, measles is a death sentence,” the WHO spokesman said.
She stressed the urgent need to increase testing for the outbreak of the disease in the country, adding that the outbreak is still raging despite adequate monitoring.
Officials at Indira Gandhi Children’s Hospital said the number of measles deaths would increase if the WHO could not give the vaccine as soon as possible, Tolo News reported.
“The outbreak is increasing day by day. Lack of vaccine is the main reason for the increase in the outbreak,” said Abdulsamad Tasal, a doctor at the hospital.
According to health authorities, measles is a highly contagious disease that infects children aged one to five years. The disease is prevented only with vaccination.
“Measles has increased compared to previous years and due to the challenges in the healthcare sector, access to vaccines against various diseases has decreased,” said Soheil Meherzad.
Fahim, whose two-and-a-half-year-old child has been infected with measles, said he has taken his child to the hospital several times for vaccination, but due to a lack of vaccine, he has not been able to vaccinate his child.
Fahim, the patient’s father, said: “At first my child had a fever. We did not know what it was suffering from. Then we brought him to this hospital and the doctors after an examination said he was infected with measles.”
Meanwhile, health officials said the number of people infected with diabetes in Afghanistan is rising, adding that over a million people this year were infected with the disease, and most of them are women, Tolo News reported.

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