Measles in Qurajoome, remote part of BakoolPhoto | Child vaccination file photo/Ergo
(ERGO) - Local doctors and officials have reported a major outbreak of measles in Qurajoome, a remote part of Bakool region bordering Ethiopia, where there are no health centres.
Adults and children have been infected by measles, according to Mohamed Kahiye Mohamed, a local doctor who visited six villages in the area: Fiktar, El-kuusow, Dhagahtuur, Buur-gaabo, El-meged and Agay villages.
Speaking to Radio Ergo by phone, Dr Mohamed said he had seen 183 measles patients, adults and children, some of whom were very ill and were confined to their houses.
Qurajoome lies some 120 km northeast of Hudur, the main town in Bakool Region. It is a pastoralist area, with a documented history of vulnerability and poor nutritional levels.
Dr Mohamed reported that 31 people in the area had died of measles since the disease broke out there in January.
Ishaq Mohamed Ahmed’s son was just six months old when he died of measles in Fiktar village, on 1st February. On the phone, he told Radio Ergo’s Baidoa reporter that rashes had appeared all over the baby’s body and he had been suffering from prolonged high fever prior to his death.
Ishaq said he could not find any healthcare centre near enough to take his baby son, who had been ill for more than three weeks before he died.
Ruqiyo Abdi Suubow said her family was nursing Farhiyo Ibrahim Hassan, 19, and her two small children, one of whom was four weeks old, at home in Qurajoome. The mother and children were infected with measles. “She can neither eat food nor speak. She is only just alive and there is nothing we can do to help her,” Ruquiyo, a paternal aunt, told Radio Ergo.
She said the nearest healthcare centre was 90 kms away.
Dr Mohamed said none of those suffering from measles had been vaccinated against the disease.
On the line to Qurajoome, Abdifatah Sheikh Mohamed, the commissioner of Qurajoome, told Radio Ergo those infected with measles were in worsening conditions. He feared the disease would spread among many more families in the community.
He appealed to NGOs to reach the area with urgent medical aid.
Warbixinno la xiriira