Sabahi (Washington, DC)

15 January 2013

Somalia: Somaliland Government Works to Contain Measles Outbreak

The Somaliland regional government announced a measles outbreak in the Marodi Jeh region on Sunday (January 13th).

Fifty-two measles cases were documented last week, Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health Ali Sheikh Omer said.

Some of the infected patients have been admitted to Hargeisa General Hospital for treatment. "Eleven of them were transferred from regions outside Hargeisa, and the infected patients are of varying ages," Omer told Sabahi.

The Ministry of Health is trying to prevent the outbreak from spreading to other parts of the region as the rainy season begins, said Somaliland Deputy Minister of Health Nim'o Hussein Ghawdan.

The ministry sent 12 mobile medical teams to rural areas in Marodi Jeh on Sunday on a mission to vaccinate children aged six months to 15 years, Omer said. They also sent 11 teams to Hargeisa, where the vaccine is being offered at clinics for mothers and children.

In the past few years, there have been several outbreaks of the disease in Somaliland region, with several deaths linked to the disease in Togdheer in July 2012. The ministry will begin a measles vaccination campaign in mid-2013, Omer said.

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