157 children have succumbed to measles since the outbreak of the disease in Mutasa District, Manicaland Province, on 10 April this year.
Last Sunday, Health and Child Care Ministry permanent secretary Jasper Chimedza said that 80 children had succumbed to the disease, while there were 1 036 suspected cases.
Chimedza blamed apostolic church sects (mapostori) for the surge in infections, saying measles was largely prevalent among those who had not received vaccinations. read more
Addressing a post-cabinet media briefing on Tuesday, 16 August, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said that the total number of suspected cases nationwide has jumped from 1 036 to 2 056 in four days.
Most reported cases are among children aged between six months and 15 from religious sects who shun vaccination. Said Mutsvangwa:
It has been noted that most cases have not received vaccination to protect against measles.
The government has invoked the Civil Protection Unit Act to deal with this emergency.
Mutsvangwa said that the Ministry of Health and Child Care will scale up its vaccination programme before schools open in September.
Meanwhile, the government has reached out to traditional and faith leaders for their support, added Mutsvangwa.