KARACHI: Senior pediatrician Prof Dr Iqbal Memon on Wednesday said future outbreak of measles can only be prevented by enhancing vaccination coverage as the peak season of measles disease has already started in Pakistan and general public should vaccinate their children against the disease.
Talking to PPI, Dr Iqbal Memon said measles mostly infect the children with a weak immunization, as well as, malnutrition babies. He said disease can spread rapidly and can infect other children and adults too.
He said in last few years, measles outbreaks have had a bad effect in Pakistan, particularly Sindh province. He said major reason behind the high prevalence of measles cases is low routine immunization coverage. He said immunization coverage was only 29pc in Sindh province. He said along with low immunization coverage, high rates of malnutrition in Sindh make children even more vulnerable to this disease.
He said up to 14,000 measles cases had been reported in Pakistan in 2014 out of them 4,000 reported in Sindh province. He said about 400 deaths were also reported across the country last year.
He explained that measles is an airborne disease which spreads easily through the coughs and sneezes of those infected.
Prof Memon said the provincial health department Sindh had successfully conducted province-wide measles vaccination campaign in 2014, resultantly number of cases went reduced later.
“If the government with coordination of other stockholders of society enhances the immunization coverage in Pakistan, then surely we will able to control the further prevalence of measles disease in the province,” he said.
He said immunization is an important tool for controlling and eliminating the life-threatening disease. He said vaccines can protect children by preparing their bodies to fight many potentially deadly diseases.
He stressed the need of launching combine vaccination of Measles & Rubella (MR) in Sindh province to prevent infants from rubella related complications. He said 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 healthy society and people should get vaccinated their children against measles.
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