Zimbabwe measles outbreak kills 700 children
Kanako Mita and Noriko Watanabe
Modern Tokyo Times
The deadly measles outbreak in Zimbabwe is responsible for the deaths of 700 children. Sadly, this number is like to increase further.
Some politicians and health care centers want certain vaccines to become mandatory. This is aimed at the millions of people opposed to vaccines in Zimbabwe. Hence, with certain Christian sects opposed to vaccines, the government needs to win over the skeptics directly.
Voice of America reports (AP), “The latest figures are more than four times the number of deaths announced about two weeks ago when the ministry said 157 children, most of whom were unvaccinated due to their family’s religious beliefs, had succumbed to the disease.”
Monica Mutsvangwa, the Information Minister, stated that the most vulnerable group is young children aged six months to 15 years of age. Mutsvangwa also reiterated that many deaths are within communities that oppose vaccines concerning the words of religious holy men.
The president of the Medical and Dental Private Practitioners of Zimbabwe Association, Dr. Johannes Marisa, is adamant that government legislation needs to be enacted. This specialist said the government must “consider enacting legislation that makes vaccination against killer diseases such as measles mandatory.”
Measles spreads mainly via coughing, close contact, and sneezing.
Bulawayo 24 reports, “The nation is being informed that all provinces have strengthened their Measles outbreak response initiative. Most health facilities conducted facility-based Measles outreach vaccination activities targeting the unvaccinated learners. Cabinet directed that the National Virology Reference Laboratory must speed up the processing of Measles samples in order to facilitate quick follow-up and timely case management.”
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