Renowned Pediatrician Prof Dr Iqbal Memon has stated that; Future outbreak of measles can only be prevented by enhancing vaccination coverage, as the peak season of measles has already started in Pakistan and general public should vaccinate their children against the disease.
Talking to the media, Dr Iqbal Memon said; measles mostly infect the children with weak immunization and babies suffering from malnutrition. The disease can spread quickly by infecting other children and adults too.
He said: In the last few years, measles outbreaks have had a particularly devastating effect on Pakistan especially in the Sindh province. A major reason behind the high prevalence of measles cases, is the poor immunization coverage, through the routine programmes. He said immunization coverage was only 29pc in Sindh. Along with the low immunization coverage, high rates of malnutrition in Sindh make children even more vulnerable to disease.
He said; Up-to 14,000 measles cases have been reported in Pakistan during 2014 out of which, over 4,000 were reported in Sindh. About 400 deaths were also reported across the country last year. Measles is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of the infected people.
Prof Memon said; The provincial health department Sindh had successfully conducted province-wide measles vaccination campaigns in 2014, resultantly the number of cases have been reduced in the current year.
“If the government, with coordination of other stakeholders in the society, enhances the immunization coverage in Pakistan, then surly we will able to control the further prevalence of measles in the province” he explained.
He said immunization is an important tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening diseases. Vaccines can protect children by preparing their bodies to fight many potentially deadly diseases.
He stressed the need of launching combined vaccination against Measles & Rubella (MR) in Sindh, to prevent infants from rubella related complications. Congenital rubella is a condition that occurs in an infant whose mother is infected with the virus that causes German measles.
He advised the general public that vaccination is necessary for a healthy society and people should vaccinate their children against measles.