Afghanistan Faces Rapid Surge in Measles: WHO

Afghanistan Faces Rapid Surge in Measles: WHO
Afghanistan Faces Rapid Surge in Measles: WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) said that Afghanistan has been hit with a rapid surge in the outbreak of measles and due to lack of vaccine the problem is getting worse.

A spokesperson for the organization, Margaret Harris, told the journalists in Geneva via zoom that at least 87 children have died due to measles this year.

“For malnourished children, measles is a death sentence,” WHO spokeswoman said.

She emphasized on urgent need to ramp up testing for the outbreak of the disease in the country, adding that despite sufficient monitoring the outbreak is still raging.

“Sadly, we’ve had 87 deaths reported,” Harris said. “We will see so many more if we don’t move on this quickly.”

Officials at the Indira Gandhi Children Hospital said that the number of measles deaths will rise if the WHO cannot provide the vaccine as quickly as possible.

“The outbreak is rising day by day. Lack of vaccine is the main reason for the rise of the outbreak,” said Abdulsamad Tasal, a doctor at the hospital.

According to health officials, measles is a highly contagious disease that infects children aged one to five. The disease is only prevented with vaccination.

“Measles has surged compared to the previous years and due to the challenges in the health sector, access to vaccines, for different diseases, have decreased,” said Soheil Meherzad.

Fahim, whose two-and-a-half-year-old child has been infected with measles said that he has taken his child to medical centers several times for vaccination, but due to the lack of vaccine he has not been able to vaccinate his child.


Fahim, the patient’s father, said: “At the beginning, my child had a fever. We did not know what has was suffering from. Then we brought him to this hospital and the doctors after an examination said he is infected with measles.”

According to the WHO, thousands of Afghan children are now infected with the measles in Afghanistan and nearly 87 of them died due to the lack of vaccine this year.

Meanwhile, health officials said the number of people infected with diabetes in Afghanistan is on the rise, adding that this year over a million people were infected with this disease and most of them are women.


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