Somalia: Steep increase in measles cases
Measles is a major killer in
Khadijo came to the Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) supported hospital two days ago with six of her children. All seven of them have measles. She says she knows the signs for measles but she didn’t come in earlier because she lives too far away and transport is expensive. She first tried traditional medicine – applying burns to various areas of the body - and only came to the hospital when her youngest child, a one-year old boy named Jakob, died. Left untreated, measles can be deadly, especially for young children. With in-patient medical care most patients survive, but the best gains are made in prevention through vaccination.
Vaccination requires not only good coverage, which should reach over 90% to stem the spread, but also requires that the vaccines are transported and stored at the right temperature. That could help explain outbreaks in areas declared vaccinated. Even more worrying, though, are areas where authorities refuse vaccination outright. In several locations MSF is denied permission to vaccinate with the explanation that higher up authorities simply won’t allow it.
Measles has raged across
In October 2011, two MSF aid workers, Montserrat Serra and Blanca Thiebaut, were abducted in Dadaab refugee camp in
1 Total number of patients treated for measles in 4 regions over January – May 2012 period (305; 467; 237 and 3,222 cases) and in 1 region over January – April 2012 period (57 cases).