Malnutrition leading cause of measles: Prof Memon

Karachi:,,, President Pakistan Paediatric Association (PPA) Prof Dr Iqbal Memon on Tuesday said 739 measles cases have been reported across the Sindh province since 1st January 2014 and eleven children have already died from this disease so far.

Talking to PPI, Dr Iqbal Memon said measles mainly attacks the children with weak immunization, as well as, malnutrition. He said disease can affect other children and adults too. He said if the proper vaccine could not be administered to children on time the measles may take an epidemic shape.

He said total 739 measles cases have been reported from different districts of province and eleven children died due this disease. He said majority of cases was reported from Sujawal, Thatta and Tando Muhammad Khan districts of Sindh.

Prof Memon informed that province-wide measles campaign was launched in 2008 in a comprehensive manner but since them no other drive has been carried. He said measles vaccination is necessary and should be conducted every three years in order to control the prevalence of disease.

He said health department Sindh is going to launch measles vaccination campaign for children from six-month to 10 year age group across the province from 19st to 31st May 2014. He said government has taken a right step on right time and now people belonging to all segments of society should participate in this drive.

He said if the government with coordination of society achieves the target by 90 to 100 percent then surly we will able to control the further prevalence of measles disease in Sindh.

Prof Memon stressed the need of involvement of all segments of society in this measles drive to make it result-oriented. He said immunization is a tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening diseases. He said vaccines can protect children by preparing their bodies to fight many potentially deadly diseases.

He said community mobilization is an important tool to pursue parents toward vaccination of their children. He said formation of community mobilization teams before any vaccination campaign can help to achieve desirable targets at local level.

He said that the measles vaccination is necessary for healthy family and society and it will decrease the deaths rate amongst children.

According to the Sindh Health Department report for the year 2013, a total 5,460 measles cases were reported across the Sindh province out of them 151 children died during the treatment; however, the independent sources said the number of reported cases and deaths was higher than mentioned in the government report.

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