Over thousands of people died in Madagascar due to Measles, most of the victims are children

On Sunday, a report says, measles has killed over 1200 people since September in Madagascar. More than 115,000 measles cases have been reported in the island nation of Madagascar. The nation is facing the largest measles outbreak since September, says the Associated Press report. According to the World health organization, the victims of measles virus are mostly children under 15. Measles has killed many lives in a developed country like Germany and the United States. Some parents in those countries have the misinformation regarding the vaccine that it causes autism in children. As Madagascar is one of the poorest countries in the world, many people there are not even able to afford the vaccine; many parents are traveling miles for clinical help due to less availability of medication. According to the health ministry, enough vaccines are not available in health centers in the country, and poor people can’t afford vaccines. So the outbreak of measles is rising in the country.

Image Courtesy: Stars and Stripes

Last year Europe saw the highest level of measles infection, the reluctance to vaccinate is the reason, says WHO. Measles is considered to be one of the ten main global threats of the year 2019.  According to WHO estimation, the widespread use of measles vaccine has prevented around 21.1 million death in the United States within the year 2000 to 2017.  The misinformation regarding the vaccine has one of the reasons that help measles virus to spread rapidly.

The measles virus can cause pneumonia, blindness and brain swelling that leads to death if left untreated for a long time. The infection can easily spread like the virus can survive in the air for two hours after a sneeze or cough. If not vaccinated and people come in contact with measles virus can contaminate the air and spread to other people. In the year 2017, around 110,000 people have died due to measles despite the effective vaccine, says the World Health Organization report. About half of the children population in Madagascar is malnourished in Africa. The poor population of the island nation has not vaccinated them due to poverty. About two-third populations of children are not vaccinated in the country. 95% of coverage needs to prevent the virus from transmission in the country according to WHO.

From 1200 people who have died in measles, most of the population is children since September. Although the emergency program has vaccinated over 2.2 million people from the 26millions population, there is still a threat of transmission of the virus.

The transportation and storage of the vaccine are other hurdles in vaccination people in the country. The roads in the tropical are not in good condition; people have to travel far to vaccinate their children, which is expensive. The vaccine of measles should be kept in the cold; the poor electricity condition is preventing the quality of the vaccine. Less than fifteen percent of the population in Madagascar has electricity. Measles becoming endemic in the poor country as the last vaccination drive in the country was in 2004.

About Staff Reporter 249 Articles
Huey Freeman, who has recently been serving as executive editor of Arizona Daily Independent, previously worked as a reporter for daily newspapers in Central Illinois. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in journalism at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, and has been an adjunct professor at Millikin University and Eastern Illinois University. An author of two published books, he is working on two books on the southern border. Huey is married, with four adult children.

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