Casey Calamusa 206.310.5476
May 31, 2010 - Five million children in Zimbabwe are at risk of catching measles in an outbreak that has claimed the lives of about 400 children while affecting over 6215 children according to UNICEF.
A decline in the provision of basic health services in Zimbabwe has resulted in a backlog of regular immunization programs, putting children under five at risk of catching six of the preventable killer diseases that include measles, polio, tuberculosis, diptheria, tetanus, whooping cough.
In fighting a growing measles outbreak the Ministry of Health, UNICEF and other partners including World Vision are working in collaboration to roll out a National Measles Immunization Program, targeting all children below the age of 15. The immunization program will run until the 2nd of June 2010.
World Vision's Operations Manager, Khumbulani Ndlovu says "World Vision has been facilitating the immunization of children in all area development program areas by providing transport to mobile health teams to vaccinate all targeted children living in inaccessible areas that have no clinics in close proximity."
Ndlovu added that "in line with the Child Health Now Campaign, World Vision Zimbabwe is advocating for adults in all communities to take children under their care for immunization against this preventable killer disease to promote child well-being in (program) areas and beyond."
57 out of Zimbabwe's 62 districts have reported confirmed cases of measles.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.