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

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

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid