An international report warns there are 40 million children without a measles vaccine

An international report warns there are 40 million children without a measles vaccine
An international report warns there are 40 million children without a measles vaccine

An international report warns there are 40 million children without a measles vaccine

An international report released on Wednesday warned that vaccination against measles, a disease that can cause death, has been in decline around the world since the COVID-19 pandemic, putting tens of millions of children at risk.

“For the past three years, we have been sounding the alarm about low immunization rates and increasing risks to children’s health around the world,” said Ephrem Tekle Limangu, director of immunization programs at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), in a statement.

He continued, “We have a tight window of opportunity to catch up on missed vaccine doses.”

For his part, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that due to the Covid-19 pandemic, “vaccination programs have been seriously disrupted”.

“Behind every statistic in this report is a child at risk of developing a preventable disease,” he added.

Measles causes a high fever and rash and is contagious for four days before and after symptoms appear.

About 40 million children will have missed a dose of the measles vaccine in 2021 (25 million missed the first dose and 14.7 million missed the measles vaccine), according to the joint report by the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). ). second dose).

As a result, global first-dose measles vaccine coverage has fallen to its lowest level since 2008.

Countries with the most unvaccinated children against measles include: Nigeria, India, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

According to the report, the number of people infected with measles in 2021 is estimated at nine million, of which 128,000 died.

In the past year, measles outbreaks have spread to 22 countries, mostly in the Middle East and Africa.

In April, the World Health Organization warned that the number of reported measles cases had increased by almost 80% in the first two months of 2022 compared to the same period last year.

“We have no time to waste,” said Elizabeth Cousins, Chair of the United Nations Foundation. “We must act urgently to ensure these life-saving vaccines reach every child.”

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease that cannot be cured, but can be prevented with two doses of the vaccine.

Measles causes a high fever and rash and is contagious for four days before and after symptoms appear.

Although the symptoms of this disease are often benign, at other times they can be dangerous as they can lead to respiratory (pneumonia) and nervous system (encephalitis) complications, especially in people with poor health.


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