Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Measles kill 80 children in Zimbabwe… Govt blames religious sects

Government has blamed the current measles outbreak that has hit the country on religious sects whose beliefs are against its vaccination policies, it has emerged.

The public has since been warned of the outbreak that has so far claimed the lives of 80 children.

Cases of the outbreak were first detected in Manicaland on April 10 this year in Manicaland Province’s Mutasa district, a statement from Jasper Chimedza the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care said.

“The Ministry of Health and Child Care wishes to inform the public that the ongoing outbreak of measles which was first reported on the 10th of April 2022 in Mutasa District of Manicaland Province has since spread nationwide following church gatherings.

“These gatherings which were attended by people from different provinces of the country with unknown vaccination status has led to the spread of measles to previously unaffected areas.”

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“The Ministry of Health and Child Care would like to point out that most cases reported are among children aged 6 months to 15 years from religious sects who are not vaccinated against measles due to religious beliefs,” it read.

According to MoHCC, as of last Thursday, 1 036 suspected cases, 125 laboratory confirmed cases and 80 deaths have been reported since the onset of the outbreak.

The current Case Fatality Rate (CFR) is 6.9% while Manicaland constitutes the highest number of cases, that is 356 and 45 deaths.

However, government says it has activated countrywide rapid response teams (RRT) to respond to the outbreak of the disease and embarked on a massive vaccination drive to contain the disease.

Measles is a deadly disease which commonly affects children and is spread through sneezing, coughing and touching an affected person.

Symptoms for measles include white spots inside cheeks, fever, cough and watery eyes.