Zimbabwe’s measles outbreak has killed 685 lives to date, the Ministry of Health announced yesterday.
Of these, 37 deaths were reported on Thursday alone.
This an alarmingly more than four times increase in cases since the last update, two week.
The measles cases are increasing despite a nationwide vaccination program.
Measles Update: As at 02 September 2022, Zimbabwe had 6 034 confirmed cases, including 4 266 recoveries and 685 deaths. pic.twitter.com/eZLuhJ9Wlx
— Ministry of HealthZW (@MoHCCZim) September 3, 2022
“Zimbabwe had 6,034 confirmed cases, including 4,266 and 685 deaths,” the ministry said in a posting on Twitter, adding 191 new cases and 37 deaths were reported in a single day on Sept. 1.” the government’s statement reads.
Primarily children aged between six months and 15 years were succumbing to measles especially those from religious sects who do not believe in vaccination, the country’s information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said last month.
According to government claims, apostolic sects do not believe in vaccination and rely on prayers.
Apostolic sects do not believe in vaccination and rely on prayers.
The government is trying to reach the apostolic church leaders in an attempt to persuade them and act rationally to mitigate the spread of the disease.
To make sure there are no more impediments in the vaccination process, the local authorities are requesting the faith leaders of primitive sects to give up on their petulance.
“All the victims had not received vaccinations against measles. Government has invoked Civil Protection Unit Act to deal with the emergency, and the Ministry of Health and Child Care is on the ground carrying out an intensive vaccination program.
”Cabinet has directed the Ministry of Health and Child Care to engage traditional and faith leaders for their support on the vaccination program.” said Mutsvangwa last week.
The apostolic church leaders have not reacted to government claims that their beliefs are responsible for a higher spread of measles.
Notably, the Zimbabwe government is trying to vaccinate children in the aforementioned age group with the help of UN agencies such as UNICEF and the World Health Organization (WHO).