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Family members hold their children suffering from measles and admitted at a local hospital in Sukkur. — Photo by AP/File

KARACHI: Some 2.9 million children have been vaccinated against measles, under a crash program, in the eight worst hit districts of Sindh, said Health Minister, Dr Saghir Ahmed on Friday.

“The next booster of the anti-measles vaccine will be administered to them in February,” he said chairing a meeting to review status of polio and measles in the province.

The minister told the meeting, also attended by Dr Azra Peechuhoo, Special Representative of President Asif Ali Zardari, that low routine coverage was playing havoc with the lives of young children.

Dr Saghir Ahmed directed the EDOs-Health, from all districts of the province to ensure that no district registers less than 95 per cent routine vaccination, otherwise strict action would be taken against the EDOs themselves.

The minister said Unicef, WHO and the federal government have been contacted for timely and necessary availability of anti-measles vaccines.

The eight worst hit districts, in context of measles outbreak include Sukkur, Ghotki, Khairpur, Larkana, Kambar, Shadadkot, Shikarpur, Jacobabad and Kashmore.

He said from January 1 this year, to January 10 the province registered 1539 cases of measles and eight associated deaths.

The Sindh health minister said 425 fixed centres and 997 mobile teams are functional in these eight districts while mop-up and routine immunisation is also underway in 15 other districts of the province.

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