Measles has infected 64 people in Southern Somalia

Fifteen new measles cases have been reported in the outskirt of administrative capital of Jubbaland, Kismayo in the last two days, taking the outbreak to 64 with 42 hospitalised.

Elder Mohamed Ali Osman in Bulu-Gadud village said that 15 children were taken to  hospital and the epidemic was showing no sign of abating.

Osman said that the village did not have any health facility or health workers to help contain the diseases for which some other children are sick with.

“The children who had been attacked by the disease are under the age of five as some more children are infected with measles in the village,” Osman said.

He warned if urgent help is not delivered to those people, many more children will die of the outbreak of the disease which he said “was spreading like a wildfire.”

Mohamed Mursal, a medical officer in Kismaayo said lack of funding for vaccines was a major problem.

“Eliminating the disease might remain a pipe dream unless a lot of emphasis is put on routine immunisation, vaccination and surveillance,” he said.

Mursal urged parents to work with the health workers and outreach programmes to reach to people living far from towns and villages.

Somali health infrastructure has collapsed with the overthrow of the former Somali ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.

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