News / Africa

Alarming Rise of Measles Deaths in Dollo Ado Refugee Complex

A Somali child refugee receives a vaccine for measles at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) transit centre in Dolo Ado near the Ethiopia-Somalia border, August 11, 2011
A Somali child refugee receives a vaccine for measles at the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) transit centre in Dolo Ado near the Ethiopia-Somalia border, August 11, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +

The United Nations refugee agency reports death rates in one of four refugee camps at the Dollo Ado complex in Ethiopia have reached alarming levels.  The UNHCR says it suspects a combination of measles and malnutrition brought on by famine is the major cause of death.

More than 118,000 Somalis live at the Dollo Ado refugee complex in Ethiopia.  More than 78,000 of these refugees, fleeing drought and famine, have arrived in Dollo Ado this year.

U.N. refugee spokesman, Adrian Edwards, says an assessment of mortality finds a sharp rise in death rates in one of the four camps at Dollo Ado.

“Since the Kobe refugee camp opened in June, an average of 10 children under the age of five have been dying each day.  An outbreak of suspected measles, combined with high rates of acute malnutrition is thought to be the major cause of death.  Across all Dollo Ado sites, 148 cases and 11 deaths due to suspected measles have been reported.  This deadly combination has historically caused similar death rates in previous famine crises in this region,” Edwards stated. 

Children who are healthy generally do not die of measles.  But, for those who are malnourished, this preventable disease can be fatal.  And, so it is proving to be for many of the acutely malnourished Somali children, whose health has been severely weakened due to drought and famine.

Kobe houses 25,000 Somali refugees.  The UNHCR and its partners on Monday completed a mass vaccination campaign against measles.  All children between the ages of six months and 15 years were immunized against this killer disease.  

Edwards says vaccination campaigns will begin in other camps in the coming days.  “There is a need to encourage parents to return with their children to health centers for continued treatment for malnutrition, and to actively identify children who are sick to ensure they receive immediate help.  UNHCR is already working with refugee leaders and outreach workers to raise awareness of measles symptoms and hygiene promotion,” he said. 

Most of the refugees arriving from Somalia are from rural areas.  UNHCR spokesman Edwards says the camps in Ethiopia may be the first time the Somalis have ever gone to a health care facility.  He says it is crucial to make the refugees aware of the health and nutrition programs that are available to them.

He says the UNHCR, together with the Ethiopian government and other partners, are working to improve nutrition, water supply and sanitation in the camps.  He says this can help bring down the high mortality rate.  

Measles is a highly contagious disease.  The UNHCR says action to prevent people from dying of this disease is the number one priority facing aid agencies.  




You May Like

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid