News / Africa

Millions of Children at Risk of Measles in Zimbabwe

Lisa Schlein

U.N. agencies report some five million children in Zimbabwe are at risk of getting measles.  They say hundreds of children already have died from this preventable disease.   

The World Health Organization, U.N. Children's Fund and other agencies are in the midst of a huge campaign to immunize about five million children, aged six months to 14 years, against measles.  

This comes in response to current measles outbreaks that have affected 55 out of Zimbabwe's 62 districts since September.

A spokeswoman for the U.N. Children's Fund, Christiane Berthiaume, tells VOA that, since September, nearly 400 children have died from measles and around 7,000 cases have been reported.

"Measles is really a preventable disease," said Christiane Berthiaume. "Normally, kids do not die of measles.  But, in Zimbabwe where before kids were immunized against measles, I mean 80 percent of the children were immunized against that disease 10 years ago.  But, this coverage has dropped to less than 50 percent."  

This is why the World Health Organization, or WHO, recommends routine immunizations be strengthened after the measles campaign.

Aid agencies are hoping the immunization campaign, which runs through June 2, will stop the spread of the killer disease.

Zimbabwe is also beset by other health problems, including water and sanitation issues and the loss of health personnel who are lured abroad by higher-paying jobs.

The World Health Organization reports that cholera, once again, has broken out in Zimbabwe.  But, so far, it says the outbreak is not too serious.  It notes 15 out of the 62 districts in the country have been affected since early February, compared to 54 districts last year at the same time.

WHO says Zimbabwe's Ministry of Health and Child Welfare reports that by May 9, there were 477 suspected cholera cases and 15 deaths.  However, at the same time last year, more than 4,000 deaths and nearly 98,000 cases of cholera were reported.

Because of the country's poor water supply, WHO says hundreds of people have become sick with typhoid and at least eight deaths have been reported.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches 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.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid