- Title: ZAMBIA: Start of week-long vaccination campaign to curb measles outbreak
- Date: 21st July 2010
- Summary: LUSAKA, ZAMBIA (JULY 20, 2010) (REUTERS) PEOPLE ENTERING CLINIC BY CAR AND BY FOOT CLOSEUP OF VEHICLE DOOR WITH SIGN READING "MINISTRY OF HEALTH LUSAKA" VARIOUS OF MOTHERS AND CHILDREN STANDING IN QUEUES (SOUNDBITE) (English) JENNIFER MUYAMBANGO, NURSE, SAYING "For this exercise, I can say we are doing well as at now as you can see the turnout is very overwhelming." MOTHERS WITH BABIES WALKING INTO CLINIC MOTHER REMOVING CHILD'S SHIRT VARIOUS OF BABIES RECEIVING INJECTIONS (SOUNDBITE) (English) JENNIFER MUYAMBANGO, NURSE, SAYING "Yes, we started on yesterday, Monday, up to Saturday. I think it's enough and I just hope we will reach our target." SIGN ON TABLE READING "TABLE 2 POLIO AND MEASLES" HEALTH WORKERS AND PATIENTS INSIDE CLINIC VARIOUS OF CHILDREN BEING GIVEN VITAMIN A / CHILDREN CRYING POSTER READING "STOP MEASLES IN ZAMBIA" MOTHERS WITH CHILDREN STRAPPED ON BACKS CHILDREN WATCHING (SOUNDBITE) (Chinyanja) MILES MUMBA, MOTHER, SAYING: "The measles outbreak has devastated many homes. Both children and adults have died. I am happy that the vaccinations are being administered for free because now we can serve our children." MOTHER FEEDING BABY USING BOTTLE CLOSEUP OF BABY FEEDING FROM BOTTLE VARIOUS OF CHILDREN IN QUEUE WIDER VIEW OF MOTHERS AND CHILDREN STANDING IN QUEUE
- Embargoed: 5th August 2010 13:00
- Location: Zambia
- Country: Zambia
- Topics: Health
- Reuters ID: LVA3MTDKJZGABH6TURABDGURICFC
- Story Text: Mothers and children waited in long queues in Lusaka on Tuesday (July 20) to receive measles vaccinations that are part of a nation-wide campaign to halt an outbreak that officials say has claimed 88 lives since April.
This is the worst occurrence of the disease in Zambia since 2003, as 4,255 cases have been recorded this year with the capital the worst hit.
The six-day campaign has unfolded in public clinics and health centres, attracting crowds of parents with children seeking medical attention.
"For this exercise, I can say we are doing well as at now as you can see the turnout is very overwhelming," said Jennifer Muyambango, a nurse at Lusaka's Mutendere clinic.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are helping Zambian authorities as they try to immunise more than 1.6 million children following the deadly outbreak of measles in the Southern African nation.
A news release issued by UNICEF, said the vaccinators are targeting children aged between nine months and 47 months.
"We have six days, we started yesterday, Monday up to Saturday, I think it's enough and I just hope we will reach our target," Muyambango said.
Health officials say the epidemic was triggered by low immunisation, malnutrition in children and compromised immunity among adults.
"The measles outbreak has devastated many homes. Both children and adults have died. I am happy that the vaccinations are being administered for free because now we can serve our children," said Miles Mumba, one mother who had her child immunised this week.
Measles is highly contagious and can be spread through coughing or sneezing. It can also cause severe complications such as pneumonia, diarrhoea and encephalitis.
Flooding in some parts of Zambia has disrupted this year's immunisation exercise.
The WHO (World Health Organization) said last month that deadly outbreaks of measles in 30 African countries threaten to reverse gains made against the viral disease in the past two decades. Chad, Nigeria and Zimbabwe have had the largest outbreaks.
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