Via The News International, still more bad news, datelined Karachi: Measles on the rise among children in city. Excerpt:
The city is witnessing a rise in measles cases and around 50-60 children are being brought to the emergency ward of the Civil Hospital Karachi per week, said a senior doctor of the hospital.
“Some children are suffering from pneumonia which is a complication of measles,” said Dr Aisha Mehnaz, professor and chairperson of the Department of Pediatrics, Dow University of Health Sciences.
“Most of these children are not immunised for measles. These children are mostly coming from Karachi south, east and central, particularly from areas such as Lyari, Baldia Town and adjacent areas.”
Asked what needs to be done to contain the menace, Prof Mehnaz said there was need to initiate a mass campaign for the eradication of the disease and children in the affected areas should be given vaccines.
Pakistan faced a measles outbreak late in 2012 as a result of which 306 children lost their lives. The measles incidence in 2012 witnessed a surge of nearly five times over the previous year when 64 fatalities were reported.
The jump was most pronounced in the Sindh province, where the disease killed 210 children in 2012, while 28 children had died there the previous year.
A total of 14,687cases were recorded during 2012 (as against 3,890 in 2011) and 1,879 of those cases were reported from the flood-affected districts.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) confirmed that the drastic rise in measles cases in different parts of Pakistan resulted from inadequate routine immunisations coverage.
According to a survey of the Pakistan Social and Living Standards Measurement (2010-2011), Pakistan’s routine immunisation coverage for measles was nearly 65 percent, which fell considerably short of the optimal routine immunisation rate of over 80 percent.