Monday, September 26, 2022

Religious Beliefs, Terrain Hampering Measles Vaccination Program in Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe’s government says religious beliefs, topography and school closures are hindering efforts to contain a measles outbreak that has killed at least 20 people in the country’s eastern part and left hundreds more. has infected. As the World Health Organization says, the country should ramp up its surveillance system and vaccinate all children.

More than 100 children are being treated for the contagious viral disease, which causes fever and rash, says Dr. Cephas Fonte, the Mutasa district medical officer, where the measles outbreak was detected last month. Fonte says that logistical factors influenced response times.

More than 100 children are being treated for the contagious viral disease, which causes fever and rash, says Dr. Cephas Fonte, the Mutasa district medical officer, where the measles outbreak was detected last month. (Columbus Mavunga/VOA)

“Mutasa is a hilly area, so some areas are difficult to reach. We have some friends who are protesting religiously, so it is difficult to break them, although they are responding slowly now. I think we would have achieved something by the end of next week.”

He also says that the closure of the school is a challenge, but now with the reopening of the school…

“We are now reaching out to those children once they get gathered in one place, which becomes faster for us,” he said.

Dr. Alex Gassira is the head of the World Health Organization’s Country Office in Zimbabwe. He says that the United Nations is working with the government to ensure that the disease can be controlled through vaccination.

Dr. Alex Gassira, seen in Harare in December 2020, heads the World Health Organization in Zimbabwe.  He says that the United Nations is working with the government to ensure that the disease can be controlled through vaccination.  (Columbus Mavunga/VOA)

Dr. Alex Gassira, seen in Harare in December 2020, heads the World Health Organization in Zimbabwe. He says that the United Nations is working with the government to ensure that the disease can be controlled through vaccination. (Columbus Mavunga/VOA)

“Vaccine is the best prevention. We are also strengthening surveillance, ensuring that parents, community members are aware and they report any child who has symptoms of measles. We are also ensuring We should do this across the country, not just in affected communities because we know that measles is very, very contagious; it spreads very fast,” he said.

Tariro Mhando, a public health official at the University of Zimbabwe, has been deployed to investigate why there is an outbreak of measles, a disease that was last recorded in the country more than 10 years ago.

“We found that most of the cases, the deaths that were recorded, have not been vaccinated and we have most of the cases without vaccination. and only a few who have [been vaccinated] There are mild symptoms,” he said.

The government says it hopes to introduce measles vaccinations across Zimbabwe in the coming weeks to prevent the disease.

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This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
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