Measles outbreak continues to stalk malnourished children in Yemen

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children in Yemen

A measles outbreak in Yemen has now claimed the lives of 177 children and left 4,000 infected according to the UN Children's fund UNICEF.

Efforts to contain the outbreak are being hampered by insecurity and a near breakdown of health services following last year's political crisis and violence.

UNICEF says most of the affected children were also suffering from severe malnutrition which makes it even harder to treat the disease.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has joined in the effort to contain the disease and is recruiting and training health workers to undertake a vaccination campaign in Yemen’s six hard to access northern districts of Al Jawf governorate.

Marixie Mercado is from the UN Children's Fund UNICEF.

"In conflict affected areas such as Abyan, Al-Baidha, Aden immunization rates went down as much as 60 per cent and this is in a country that for years has had no measles cases. UNICEF WHO and other partners have been working on this measles campaign for months now, the first phase of this measles campaign targeted the districts with the fastest increasing infection rates and had a 94 per cent coverage rate. This was in early march. Essentially the target is all the children below the age 10 years old and I believe the total figure is 8 million children."

Duration 37"

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December 2017
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