Measles outbreak in Mogadishu

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Gabar yar oo jadeeco laga tallaalayo/Axmed Saalixi/AT Photo | Children being vaccinated/Ergo

Cabdiraxmaan Taysiir 13 January, 2016 MOGADISHU

 

An outbreak of measles has been spreading in densely populated parts of Mogadishu, according to medical officials.

Dr Luul Mohamed Mohamud, the director of the children’s department of Banadir Hospital, told Radio Ergo that 20 children, most of them under five, had been admitted to the Mother and Child Healthcare ward this week.

The children were from internally displaced people’s camps in the city and surrounding neighbourhoods. Last week, 30 children admitted to the hospital suffering from the disease.

The children are being treated free of charge at the hospital.  

Dr Luul said five children admitted to the hospital with measles had died during the past three months. The number of cases was rising, with 30 to 50 cases a week being reported to the hospital.

She said measles cases were most common in the IDP camps and the areas around the camps in the city, because many children who had not been vaccinated had come from different locations.

Faduma Mohamed Suldan, an IDP dweller in the city’s Waberi District, was looking after two daughters and two sons who were all sick with measles. She told Radio Ergo all the children, including the youngest one-year-old, had been treated in hospital and seemed to be recovering.

Hawa Ahmed Hussein’s 18-month old daughter is among those admitted for treatment.  “We kept her at home even after noticing she had a high fever for more than a week, thinking it was just a simple fever and that she would be fine,” Hawa said.    

Luckily the baby has responded to treatment and is due to be discharged and be taken home to Mogadishu’s Wadajir District.

Dr Luul warned that anyone who had not been vaccinated against measles was at risk of infection.  She urged parents across the city and elsewhere to have their children vaccinated.

 

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