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Measles kills 4 children in South Sudan – charity

At least four children have died of the highly contagious measles disease in South Sudan, a medical charity said on Tuesday.

Medair said in a statement that as of April 10, there had been 11 active outbreaks across the east African country and four confirmed deaths.

Another two deaths were suspected cases of measles, the statement added.

An outbreak of the infectious viral disease was declared in South Sudan in January and it has since spread to several areas across the conflict-torn country.

“It doesn’t have to be this way; measles is entirely preventable,” the statement quoted Natalie Page, Health Advisor for Medair South Sudan.

The agency said a campaign to vaccinate children across South Sudan was delayed due to shortage of vaccines and funding, warning that the approaching rain season could hamper vaccination efforts and worsen the situation.

“The children of this country deserve better and should have the opportunity to be protected.

“Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease. Now we are in an emergency situation,” the statement added.

Measles is a highly contagious disease and it can cause severe or fatal complications, especially in young children and babies.

Young children with malnutrition and weak immune systems are particularly vulnerable to complications and death.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the prevalence of measles is rising globally, with cases tripling since start of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018.

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