Over 400 measles cases reported in Kismaayo

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419 measles cases have been officially recorded at Kismayo General Hospital, 302 of which are children under five, UN’s children agency said on Monday.

The outbreak of measles – a highly contagious viral disease that can lead to pneumonia, diarrhoea, encephalitis which causes brain swelling, and blindness was report back September this year.

In a report by UNICEF, Hussein Kassim Ali, director of the hospital said they facing some big challenges since the outbreak of the disease.

Ali expressed grieve concern over the fact that most of the mothers whose children attacked by the disease, have never had their children immunized even though there are 16 free vaccination posts in Kismaayo town.

“We need to be prepared for the worst case scenario,” says Mr Ali. “We need mass vaccination campaigns. Communities need to be mobilized, vaccines need to be stocked up. We need help!”

Maano, a mother of two children who were infected by the disease said that the children have had a fever for 10 days, and also vomiting, coughing and congested chests.

“We brought them here two days ago. It was only when we got here we realized that it was measles.”

Another mother, Sahra who brought her two children to the hospital after they fallen sick said she took them to a private clinic and they thought it was malaria and was given some medications but the disease kept developing.

“Then they started having rashes and itching eyes. A neighbour told me that it could be measles, so I rushed them here.” said Sahro.

In Somalia, measles is a major cause of death among children – but it can be effectively prevented with a simple vaccine.

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