Measles claims over 13 lives in K-P

DI Khan registers 185, Peshawar 147, Charsadda 113 and Swabi 92 cases

Our Correspondent April 01, 2024


A measles outbreak in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) has resulted in the loss of at least 13 lives over the past six months, official sources disclosed.

According to reports, there have been a total of 3,889 suspected cases and 1,445 confirmed cases of measles recorded in the province. Out of the 22 deaths reported during this period, measles has been confirmed in 13 cases.

The most vulnerable demographic appears to be children aged between two to five years. The Director of the Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI) indicated that an outbreak response is currently underway across 118 union councils spanning the province’s 24 districts.

Among the worst-hit districts is DI Khan, reporting 185 cases, followed by Peshawar with 147, Charsadda with 113, Swabi with 92, and Lower Dir with 83 cases respectively.

Health Minister Syed Qasim Ali Shah has responded swiftly to the measles outbreak in the province by instructing the director of the EPI to furnish an urgent report on the situation.

In an appeal to parents, the minister urged them to ensure their children receive timely measles vaccinations. He has further directed immediate emergency measures to be implemented to curb the spread of the outbreak.

Directives have been issued to establish isolation wards within Medical Teaching Institutions (MTI) hospitals to contain the spread of the disease.

The health minister has instructed the Director-General of Health Services to enhance the functioning of vaccination centres by transferring vaccinators from the jurisdiction of medical superintendents to the supervision of district health officers.

Moreover, immediate steps have been taken to form a provincial outbreak control committee.

During an urgent briefing provided by Dr Aarif, Director of the Expanded Program on Immunisation, Health Minister Shah was briefed on the severity of the measles outbreak.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2024.


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