Showing posts with label Measles. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Measles. Show all posts

Measles kill more people in DR Congo than Ebola -Medical NGO Doctors

Measles has killed 2,758 people in DR Congo since January, more than the Ebola epidemic in a year, medical NGO Doctors Without Borders said, and called Saturday for a “massive mobilisation of funds.”

The disease, preventable with a vaccine, has infected over 145,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo between January and early August, it said in a statement.

“Since July, the epidemic has worsened, with a rise in new cases reported in several provinces,” said the NGO that goes by its French acronym MSF.

“Only $2.5 million has been raised out of the $8.9 million required for the Health Cluster response plan — in stark contrast with the Ebola epidemic in the east of the country, which attracts multiple organisations and hundreds of millions of dollars in funding,” it added.

MSF tweeted that without a “massive mobilisation of funds and response organisations, the current measles outbreak in #DRCongo could get even worse.”

The NGO said it has vaccinated 474,860 children between the ages of six months and five years since the beginning of the year and provided care to more than 27,000 measles patients.

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In the country’s east, Ebola has claimed more than 1,900 lives since erupting last August.
Measles is a highly-contagious diseased caused by a virus that attacks mainly children. The most serious complications include blindness, brain swelling, diarrhea, and severe respiratory infections.

Last year, cases more than doubled to almost 350,000 from 2017, according to the World Health Organization, amid a rise in “anti-vaxxer” sentiment in some countries that can afford the vaccine, and lagging resources for the preventative measure in poor nations.
DR Congo declared a measles epidemic in June.


Sadnews: 100 dead, 21,000 affected by Measles across Northeast Nigeria in seven months

States in the North East part of Nigeria recorded no fewer than 21,011 cases of measles with 100 deaths in the past few months.

A survey by News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) indicated that while cases were recorded in Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Gombe states, officials in Adamawa and Jigawa said no such cases were recorded in their states.

In Borno, where the highest number of cases was recorded, officials said security challenges in the state made it difficult to address the situation.

The Director of Borno State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Sule Mele, said 18,204 measles cases were recorded in the state from January till date, with 93 deaths, mostly children.

He attributed the outbreak of the disease to inability of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to access healthcare services due to the ongoing
conflict between security forces and Boko Haram insurgents.

Mr Mele, a medical doctor, noted that there was high prevalence of the disease in ‘trapped’ communities due to the lack of access to vaccination.

He added that the lack of access to crisis-prone areas was a major obstacle

militating against effective response to the disease.

According to him, the primary healthcare agency has, however, scaled up activities to enhance surveillance, case management, laboratory services, social mobilisation and vaccination in some affected areas in spite of the challenges.

He said “We were able to conduct reactive vaccination for children between the ages of nine and 18 months in the affected areas.

“Arrangements are on for the conduct of a country-wide measles response to enhance coverage of the routine immunisation in communities
and IDPs’ camps.’’

Yobe, another flash-point of conflicts between security agents and the
insurgents, recorded 2,675 cases of measles, with seven deaths, the acting Disease Surveillance and Notification Officer (DSNO), Haruna Umaru, in the state said.

He said that “from January 2019 till June 2019, we received reports of 2,675
cases of measles, with seven deaths from the 17 local government areas in the

He, however, added that the situation had been controlled by the Rapid Response

Mr Umaru said whenever there was report of communicable disease in the
state, the Rapid Response Teams swung into action.

On its part, the Bauchi State Government said it recorded two cases of measles in some communities sharing border with Yobe State.

However, Bakoji Ahmed, the State Immunisation Officer (SIO) told NAN in Bauchi that those infected were from Yobe.

He added that “the communities affected are in Yobe but share border with
Dambam Local Government Area of Bauchi State.

“The only reason we accepted them is because they receive healthcare services and immunisation in Bauchi State.’’

The officer explained that the state government was not taking chances as it had intensified monitoring through its Emergency Operations Centres (EOC).

Mr Ahmed said the EOC was being used to monitor signals and coordinate outbreak response across the state.

In Gombe State, the Epidemiologist in the Ministry of Health, Nuhu Ville, said 130 cases of measles were recorded from January till date, but no life was lost.

Mr Ville, a medical doctor, said most of the cases were detected in Gombe and Dukku local government areas of the state, but were treated and discharged.

According to him, the laboratory for measles test for the entire North East region is located in Gombe, and whenever there is a suspected case, test is conducted immediately and treatment commences.

He said there were 570 healthcare facilities across the state, each with surveillance officers who notified specialists’ hospital of such cases for appropriate actions.

Adamawa and neighbouring Jigawa, however, had no case of the disease, as claimed by officials in those states.

The Spokesperson of the Adamawa State Ministry of Health, Abubakar Mohammed, said “so far, there are no cases recorded in the state.

“No case recorded so far but precautionary measures are in place to prevent any form of public health outbreak.

“Emergency Operation Centre is active. Our Disease Surveillance System is also very active; the state rapid response team has been on high alert in case of an outbreak.’’

Mr Mohammed also said the ministry and other stakeholders were not relenting in enlightenment campaigns on the need to accept immunisation as a precautionary measure.

In Jigawa, the Executive Secretary of the state’s Primary Healthcare Development Agency (JSPHDA), Kabir Ibrahim, said no case of measles had been recorded.

He said routine immunisation against the disease, as well as efforts by the state government, traditional institution and relevant stakeholders, all played great roles in tackling the issue.

The executive secretary said the agency, in collaboration with other stakeholders, were intensifying efforts to ensure that the state remained measles-free.

He further explained that the agency was doing its best toward educating the people on the need and importance of routine immunisation.


Measles cases soar 300 per cent worldwide, worst in Africa

Measles cases have soared between 300 and 700 percent worldwide through the first three months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, the World Health Organisation said Monday, as concern grows over the impact of anti-vaccination stigma.

So far this year, 170 countries have reported 112,163 measles cases to WHO. At this time last year, 163 countries had reported 28,124 cases.

The most dramatic rise in cases through the early part of the year was reported in Africa, which has weaker vaccination coverage than other regions. Africa saw a 700-percent increase compared to last year.

At least 800 children have died from measles since September in Madagascar, where rampant malnutrition and a historically poor vaccine rate are driving the world’s worse current outbreak.

In conflict-scarred Yemen cases shot up more than 300 percent in 2018 compared to 2017.
Venezuela, where the disease was once contained, has also seen tens of thousands of cases as the country’s economic and political crises continue to push the healthcare system to the brink of collapse.

Measles, which is highly contagious, can be entirely prevented through a two-dose vaccine, but the World Health Organization (WHO) has in recent months sounded the alarm over slipping vaccination rates.

“Preliminary global data shows that reported cases rose by 300 percent in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018. This follows consecutive increases over the past two years,” it said in a statement.

“While this data is provisional and not yet complete, it indicates a clear trend. Many countries are in the midst of sizeable measles outbreaks, with all regions of the world experiencing sustained rises in cases,” it added.
The agency noted that only about one in 10 actual measles cases are reported, meaning the early trends for 2019 likely underestimate the severity of the outbreaks.

Measles – an airborne infection causing fever, coughing and rashes that can be deadly in rare cases – had been officially eliminated in many countries with advanced healthcare systems.

But the so-called anti-vax movement – driven by fraudulent claims linking the MMR vaccine against measles, mumps and rubella, and a risk of autism in children – has gained traction.

Repeated studies – the most recent involving more than 650,000 children monitored for more than a decade – have shown that there is no such link.

But according to WHO, global coverage for the first vaccine dose has been “stalled” at 85 percent, while 67 percent of people have received the second dose.

The provisional 2019 data shows that cases have spiked “in countries with high overall vaccination coverage, including the United States,” WHO warned.
“The disease has spread fast among clusters of unvaccinated people,” it added.

New York’s mayor declared a public health emergency in parts of Brooklyn last week, after a measles outbreak emerged in an ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where some had resisted vaccination on religious grounds.

Calls have mounted in several countries to make measles vaccinations mandatory, including in Germany. Australia earlier this month launched a major education campaign to encourage residents to get vaccinated. (NAN)
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