High measles cases registered in 2011 - world health report
Posted Monday, January 21 2013 at 02:45
Uganda registered high cases of measles outbreak in 2011, a new World Health Organisation report has shown. The Weekly Epidemiological Record, which was released last week, indicates that Uganda registered 3,312 new cases along with other countries like Sudan, Ethiopia and DR Congo, among others.
In a press statement by the WHO communications officer, Mr Tarik Jasarevic, such new outbreaks pose a serious challenge to the regional elimination efforts and signal where national health systems and routine immunisation programmes need strengthening.
Call to action
“The outbreaks also indicate the need to ensure that parents are fully aware of the benefits of immunisation and the risks associated with not vaccinating children,” Mr Jasarevic said.
He added: “Resuming the fight against measles cases and deaths means strengthening health systems so that they can provide effective immunisation services and laboratory-supported surveillance for vaccine-preventable diseases to all children.”
At the beginning of this year, measles cases have been reported in Buliisa and Hoima districts.
By January 4, there were an estimated 300 new cases in Hoima District, while two people had died by then.
The Ministry of Health spokesperson, Ms Rukia Nakamatte, said the ministry was conducting routine measles immunisation.
“Some of these cases have not been confirmed but the ministry will continue with its routine immunisation programme,” she said in an earlier interview.
The 2011 Uganda Health Demographic Survey, released in December last year, showed that only 52 per cent of children between one and two years had received all basic vaccinations for BCG, which protects against tuberculosis, measles and three doses each of DPT, which protects against diptheria, and polio vaccine.
Figures from the Ministry of Health indicated that the cumulative number of unimmunised children in Uganda over the last three years was estimated at more than half a million.