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Measles outbreak in Zimbabwe, 700 children have died so far, UNICEF expresses concern



Strong points

In Zimbabwe, 700 children have now died of measles.
UNICEF has also expressed concern over the increase in cases.
The government is carrying out a vast vaccination campaign.

Harare (Zimbabwe). In Zimbabwe, the number of children who have lost their lives due to the measles epidemic has risen to almost 700. This information was given by the country’s Ministry of Health. Some are calling for legislation to make vaccination compulsory in a country where a population of 15 million is dominated by anti-religious anti-modern medicine sects. The country’s health ministry announced over the weekend that 698 children had died of the disease since the measles outbreak began in April.

The ministry said 37 of those deaths occurred in a single day on September 1. The Health Ministry said it had registered 6,291 cases through September 4. The latest figures are more than four times the death toll announced nearly two weeks ago, when the ministry said 157 children had succumbed to the disease. The ministry said most of these children had not been vaccinated due to their family’s religious beliefs.

The president of the Association of Private Medical and Dental Practitioners of Zimbabwe, Dr Johannes Marisa, said on Monday that the government should step up the massive vaccination campaign and launch awareness programs specifically targeting anti-vaccination religious groups.

“The government should also consider punitive measures to ensure that no one is allowed to refuse to have their children vaccinated,” said Marissa, who also urged considering passing a law making vaccination compulsory.

UNICEF said on Monday it was “deeply concerned” by the number of child deaths from measles. The agency said it was helping the government deal with the outbreak of the disease through vaccination programs. The measles outbreak first emerged in the eastern province of Manikland in early April and has since spread to all parts of the country.

Information Minister Monica Mutswangwa said in August that many children had died without being vaccinated. Zimbabwe’s cabinet implemented a law used in dealing with disasters to deal with epidemics. The government has launched a massive vaccination campaign for children in the age group of 6 months to 15 years.

Key words:, Zimbabwe