The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.
Health

Thousands of children contracting measles due to malnutrition, MoPH

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KABUL: Ministry of Public Health of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has confirmed that more than 5500 Afghan children have contracted measles in Afghanistan.
According to a spokesperson of the ministry Javed Hazhir, 680 cases of measles have been recorded only in Kandahar, which has topped in recording measles in the country. After Kandahar, Jawzjan is the second province that has recorded 435 cases of measles and 15 death, while Badakhshan is the third province recording 203 cases and three death so far.
Also 165 cases of measles and 6 cases of death have been recorded in Ghor province accordingly.
Previously, local media had reported the death of 175 children suffering from measles in Badakhshan province.
Recently, the World Health Organization has warned that a sharp rise in measles cases in Afghanistan is threatening the lives and well-being of millions of malnourished children.
More than 35,300 suspected cases of measles and 156 deaths have been reported in Afghanistan from January 2021 through January of this year. What is setting off alarm bells ringing is the sharp, rapid rise in cases last month.
The World Health Organization reports a 40% increase in the number of measles cases in the last week of January. Although the number of deaths is relatively low, the WHO warns many children are likely to die from the disease in the coming weeks.
WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier says measles-related deaths are not always reported in Afghanistan, so the toll is likely to be much higher than the figures suggest.
“The rise in measles cases is especially concerning because of the extremely high levels of malnutrition in Afghanistan,” Lindmeier said. “Malnutrition weakens immunity, making people more vulnerable to illness and death from diseases like measles—especially children. In addition, measles infections can cause immune system suppression and immunologic amnesia, which increases susceptibility to all pathogens.”
Meanwhile, Doctors Without Borders or Médecins Sans Frontières in its recent tweet has said that the numbers of measles cases have increased rapidly in the last few months in Afghanistan.
“The numbers of measles cases have increased rapidly in the last few months and we are seeing about 45 new cases per day in our Herat project.  Measles is particularly dangerous for young children, even more so for those that are malnourished, as they are more likely to become severely ill,” MSF tweeted. The organization has said that the virus is highly contagious but vaccine preventable. Health organizations say strengthening routine immunization is the best way to protect people, especially children, from getting measles. They urge governments to make sure at least 95 percent of their populations receive two doses of measles-containing vaccine.
The Kabul Times

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.