By TAMARY CHIKIWA
THE United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has partnered the Zimbabwean government in fighting the spread of measles which has so far killed over 680 people across the country.
According to the latest data shared by the government through its weekly Disease Surveillance System, a total of 6 034 suspected cases, 4 266 recoveries and 685 deaths have so far been recorded.
In a statement yesterday, Unicef chief of communications Yves Willemot said the organisation had moved to assist the government to control the disease through provision of information to enlighten citizens on the importance of vaccines tracking of cases in communities and also providing supplementary immunisation.
“Unicef is deeply concerned with the number of cases and deaths among children due to a measles outbreak in Zimbabwe.
“Unicef and partners are supporting the government’s response and the Rapid Response Teams that the government has deployed in the affected districts,” Willemot said.
He said Unicef and its partners were also supporting risk communication and community engagement activities rolled by the government.
“Vaccine hesitancy in communities is addressed through information, education, pamphlets and interpersonal communication highlighting the benefits of the vaccines.”
Willemot further noted that Unicef was also helping through collecting and responding to misinformation and rumours circulating within communities pertaining measles and vaccines.
He highlighted that Unicef and the government had embarked on a measles campaign targeting more than two million children aged between six months and five years and more than four million children aged five to 15 years. – Xinhua