Measles threatens children in Somalia

2014-06-10 16:35
(Picture: AFP)

(Picture: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mogadishu - Thousands of children in war-torn Somalia are facing death or disability due to an outbreak of highly contagious measles, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Recent rates of infection are four times higher than the same time last year, and a vaccination campaign must be "urgently conducted to prevent thousands of avoidable deaths", the UN children's agency Unicef and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a joint statement.

The outbreak comes amid renewed warnings impoverished Somalia risks sliding back into acute crisis less than three years since a devastating famine, amid poor rains, escalating conflict and aid funding shortfalls.

"We have a very high number of malnourished Somali children," Unicef chief for Somalia Sikander Khan said.

"Malnourished children here are more susceptible to disease, and are more likely to die or suffer life long disability such as blindness, deafness or brain damage as a result of contracting measles."

WHO head for Somalia, Ghulam Popal, said the outbreak was "extremely alarming", warning that 10% of children infected could die from complications.

Around half a million children have been vaccinated in recent months, but the UN says some five million in total need protection.

In some parts of Somalia - notably southern and central regions including areas where African Union troops are battling al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents - immunisation rates are as low as 15%.

Less than a third of children aged under a year were vaccinated countrywide in 2013.

Somalia was the hardest hit by extreme drought in 2011 that affected over 13 million people across the Horn of Africa, with famine zones declared in large parts of the war-ravaged south.

One in five children dies before their fifth birthday with measles one of the main causes, according to the UN.

The measles campaign would cost around nine million dollars, but aid agencies are already struggling to raise the funds needed for other emergencies in the country.

Read more on:    who  |  unicef  |  somalia  |  health  |  measles  |  east africa
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Sport

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Deal of the week!

20% off Afrikaans books, music and DVDs. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R1000 on Hisense smartphones!

View the large range of Hisense smartphones. Buy today and save up to R1000!

Hot gaming titles – available for pre-order!

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Day Zero Edition, Far Cry 4, Grand Theft Auto 5 and more. Pre-order now!

Get a free eBook

Buy 3 eBooks and get the cheapest FREE. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Be open, network and share your intentions and ideas as these may be the vital seeds to the imminent change that can be starting...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.