We are NOT authorized by Govt of India for Yellow Fever Vaccination

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


A ProMED-mail post

Date: Thu 10 Jan 2013

Source: Milenio, EFE Agency report [in Spanish, machine trans., summ., edited]


More than 100 children have died in the province of Sindh in the south of Pakistan, after an outbreak of mumps was declared a month ago and today [10 Jan 2013] many experts attributed it to the poor vaccination policy of the authorities, which did not reach the necessary population to prevent the spread of the disease. "When there is a large group of unimmunized children it is very easy to see an outbreak such as this one," Dr Buttha Tariq, Unicef responsible for immunization in neighboring Punjab province, told EFE news agency, adding that mumps "is one of the most contagious diseases and it spreads very quickly."
"The outbreak was declared at the beginning of last month [December 2012]; just during that month about 90 children died, and in January [2013] we've had 14 deaths already," said Dr Suresh Kumar of the Sindh Provincial Health Ministry.
Kumar added that a vaccination campaign that aims to reach more than 3 million children aged between 6 months and 12 years was launched months ago, and he hopes the outbreak [will be contained] by immunisation and greater awareness of parents. Kumar, like other experts consulted, said that the affected area, close to the river Indus, has been badly hit by flooding in the past 3 years, which has worsened the living conditions of many households. "Many lost their homes and now live with other families crammed into small houses with limited resources, which is an ideal breeding ground for infections such as mumps," said Kumar.
A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization (WHO), Maryam Yunus, also recalled that child malnutrition is directly related to the risk of mumps virus infection and its effects are greater. "Many of the people displaced by the floods are malnourished," she said, adding that most deaths of affected children occur from complications such as pneumonia or diarrhea. "Pneumonia is the most common complication and that which causes most deaths," said Buttha.
The experts agreed that now it is important to focus on the treatment of those affected (in December there were at least 2500 cases, according to official figures) with antibiotics and vitamins to improve the immune system of sick children.
Comments: It is a sad indictment of the health status of developing countries in South East Asia that so many children are suffering and even dying due to these easily (vaccine) preventable diseases. We must remember that each death actually represents the tip of an iceberg, wherein hundreds of children who are suffering from the disease are probably not even reporting to health care authorities. 

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