Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Measles threatens children in Somalia

10 June 2014, 22:18

Mogadishu - Thousands of children in war-torn Somalia are facing death or disability due to an outbreak of highly contagious measles, the United Nations said on Tuesday.

Recent rates of infection are four times higher than the same time last year, and a vaccination campaign must be "urgently conducted to prevent thousands of avoidable deaths", the UN children's agency Unicef and the World Health Organization (WHO) warned in a joint statement.

The outbreak comes amid renewed warnings impoverished Somalia risks sliding back into acute crisis less than three years since a devastating famine, amid poor rains, escalating conflict and aid funding shortfalls.

"We have a very high number of malnourished Somali children," Unicef chief for Somalia Sikander Khan said.

"Malnourished children here are more susceptible to disease, and are more likely to die or suffer life long disability such as blindness, deafness or brain damage as a result of contracting measles."

WHO head for Somalia, Ghulam Popal, said the outbreak was "extremely alarming", warning that 10% of children infected could die from complications.

Around half a million children have been vaccinated in recent months, but the UN says some five million in total need protection.

In some parts of Somalia - notably southern and central regions including areas where African Union troops are battling al-Qaeda linked Shabaab insurgents - immunisation rates are as low as 15%.

Less than a third of children aged under a year were vaccinated countrywide in 2013.

Somalia was the hardest hit by extreme drought in 2011 that affected over 13 million people across the Horn of Africa, with famine zones declared in large parts of the war-ravaged south.

One in five children dies before their fifth birthday with measles one of the main causes, according to the UN.

The measles campaign would cost around nine million dollars, but aid agencies are already struggling to raise the funds needed for other emergencies in the country.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...