35 CHILDREN DIE OF MEASLES newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

35 CHILDREN DIE OF MEASLES newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe

Zimbabwe is battling an outbreak of ancient diseases blamed on the country’s deteriorating healthcare delivery system amid reports that 35 children have died in the space of a month from suspected measles and mumps.

An outbreak of similar proportions was recorded in 2022, with more than 750 children dying from diseases during the first six months of the outbreak until October.

Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Secretary Ndavanenge Mangwana announced the news, saying the Civil Protection Unit (CPU) It sent officials to Hurungwe where cases of the disease were recorded.

“The CPU was seized with the deaths of 35 children who died within a month of suspected measles and mumps. The children belonged to one of the Apostolic religious orders.

“The tragic deaths came to light when a church member brought four of his children to Karowe Hospital, where two of them showed signs of measles while the other two had mumps,” he said.

It is feared that the killing of 16 children from four families is just the tip of the iceberg compared to hundreds of unrecorded deaths among members of the Apostolic sect in the region.

Mangwana said the outbreak affected wards 4 and 22, including Nyama 5 village in Hurungwe district.

He identified some of the families that lost their children as Nduna (seven children), Magara (five children), Matacho, Chikomombe and Caetano, which each lost two children.

He added, “The children are from one of the apostolic sects.”

In an interview in Karowe yesterday, Andrew Tezora, head of the Hurungwe District Central Processing Unit, said investigations were continuing within the remote rural area.

He said the government has deployed more teams to look into the measles and mumps outbreak.

“Yes, I can confirm that there are more than 35 children who have died from measles and mumps in the Hurungwe District. Some deaths have been reported in areas such as Links Main within Hurungwe Rural District Council Ward 4 and Nyama within Ward 22. “Our investigations are not conclusive and are Continuing issues that represent a public health concern.”

Speaking to NewsDay, Charles Makara from Nyama village blamed members of the Apostolic sect for depriving children of vaccination even though it is free.

“The government must intensify efforts on public health issues, especially among the apostolic communities,” he said.

In September 2022, NewsDay revealed that several children had died in rural Minumbwa under the command of Chief Mudzimo, Ward 13.

The affected children were not vaccinated against measles while there were concerns about the secret burial of some affected children.

The government last year launched a nationwide emergency immunization program targeting 95% of all children from 6 to 59 months and in some cases up to 15 years to achieve herd immunity. Newsday

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