Health experts are calling for mandatory Measles Vaccination to save children’s lives as the death toll nears 700, with almost 100 cases being recorded on a daily basis.
The government has been urged to intervene and ensure every child is vaccinated, especially among the apostolic sects where a high number of children are not vaccinated.
Dr Johannes Marisa, Public health expert is quoted by ZBC News as saying:
We have noted with concern that the number of Measles cases skyrocketing. The outbreak is coming from a number of factors, the first one is coming from unvaccinated children. Zimbabwe used to have a 90% vaccination coverage, but there are a lot of challenges we are facing at the moment. The first one being that there are some religious sects especially apostolic sects who are shunning the vaccination drive, who are against all sorts of vaccination taking place so this is putting everyone at risk. We would like to urge everyone to take their children for vaccination against Measles. Can all religious sects follow what is supposed to be done. For public health measures to be fully functional and operational sometimes we may need even legislation, a piece of legislation to force everyone to do the right thing Vaccination should be mandatory for everyone.
Dr Amos Marume, Harare Institute of Public Health Principal, told ZBC News echoed Marisa’s remarks adding that the vaccine is the only prevention children need.
Of the 6 291 cases reported nationwide, 3 009 are coming from Manicaland, accounting for almost 50 per cent of the cases and deaths.
Out of those cases from Manicaland, only 523 are vaccinated against Measles, with 347 children from the province dying at home before seeking medical attention.