An 80% increase in cases was recorded during the first two months of this year
Officially registered measles cases rose by nearly 80 percent in the world during the first two months of this year, according to what the World Health Organization announced today (Wednesday).
In recent months, the World Health Organization has sounded the alarm about the possibility of an “absolute disaster”, if the delay in vaccinating children due to the “Corona” pandemic is not compensated, and in the event of a hasty lifting of health restrictions.
Injuries rose by 79 percent during the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period last year, according to the “Health Organization” and the “United Nations Children’s Fund” (UNICEF). The two United Nations organizations fear that measles will spread in an epidemic manner, affecting “millions of children” in 2022.
To date, 17,338 cases of measles, a very contagious viral disease, were recorded in the world in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 cases during the first two months of 2021, but the number may be much higher likely, because the pandemic Affected control mechanisms.
Very wide vaccination coverage is the best protection against measles.
And 21 measles outbreaks were recorded during the last 12 months, up to April (April), most of them in Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The countries with the largest measles outbreaks in the past year are Somalia, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Ethiopia.
Since measles is so contagious, infections are recorded when vaccination levels are low. The United Nations organizations fear that the measles outbreak is a precursor to epidemic outbreaks of other diseases that spread more slowly.
“Measles is not just a dangerous disease that can cause death, as it is one of the first indications that there are gaps in global vaccination coverage,” said UNICEF Director-General Catherine Russell. The World Health Organization and UNICEF indicate that a very large number of children have not received the measles vaccine due to the impact of health systems on the Corona pandemic.
In 2020, 23 million children in the world did not receive basic vaccinations through regular health devices, the highest number since 2009 and 3.9 million more than in 2019, according to the two organizations.
The Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said: “The (Corona) pandemic has stopped vaccination mechanisms, health systems have suffered from high demand, and we are now witnessing the return of deadly diseases, including measles. The suspension of vaccination services will have repercussions on many other diseases for decades.”
He added, “It is time to put basic vaccination programs back on track, and start compensation campaigns so that everyone can get these vital vaccines.”
And the risks of epidemic outbreaks increase as countries gradually abandon the restrictions taken in the context of combating “Corona”, such as respecting social distancing.
“It is good to see a lot of residents resuming social activities because they feel they are adequately protected,” Russell said. But doing this in areas where children do not have routine vaccination provides the optimal conditions for the spread of a disease like measles.”
The displacement of millions of people due to conflicts and crises, as in Ukraine, Ethiopia, Somalia and Afghanistan, has the potential to spread epidemic outbreaks among already vulnerable population groups.