Another young life has been lost to measles. Locals in Mohmand Agency told The Express Tribune that the 10-month-old daughter of Hamzaullah, from the Chanda area of Ghallanai, died of measles, citing the limited health facilities in the agency.
Shamsur Rehman, a local, said that in his home, more than 10 children have been infected with the epidemic, and in every village of Mohmand, there are families with measles patients, but the health department has not started a preventive scheme for it.
Mohmand Agency Surgeon Dr Muhammad Dawood confirmed the case, saying that it had been reported to the health department while adding that cases of pneumonia and asthma are on the rise due to the cold weather.
Last July, six children died after contracting measles in Ambar, while three others died in Halemzai in Mohmand Agency last week. While the health department is regularly vaccinating children, lack of health education, poverty, poor hygiene and polluted water are compromising the effectiveness of the vaccines and locals’ immune systems in general. The epidemic has also spread to Shabqadar and most parents are going to private clinics.
Shahbaz Khan claimed four children died of measles last October, but after confirming, the health department never sent a vaccination team to Mohmand or Shabqadar and demanded that vaccination teams be sent to the area.
Naveed Khan, who has children with measles, said that in Shabqadar Tehsil Headquarter Hospital, facilities are lacking and most of the parents are going to private doctors.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 17th, 2013.
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