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Measles Outbreak in Somalia

16 Dec 2016

On 13 December 2016 ReliefWeb released a reportLink regarding an outbreak of measles in Kismayo, Somalia. Since September 2016, 419 measles cases have been officially recorded, of which 302 are children under the age of five.

Kismayo General Hospital is reported to have been inundated with measles patients and the outbreak has put additional strain on an already overwhelmed hospital.

In response, UNICEF is collaborating with the world Health Organisation, Red Cross, the Ministry of Health from the regional Jubaland authorities and the Federal Government, and other partners on a mass vaccination campaign. It is reported that 5500 vials of measles vaccines will be delivered to Kismayo for the campaign along with vitamin A supplements to boost children’s immunity.

Advice for Travellers

Young people who missed their MMR vaccines as children are vulnerable. It should be confirmed that children and young people have received their recommended doses of MMR at 12-13 months of age and again pre-school around 3 years 6 months. Unimmunised adults who have not had the disease themselves may consider vaccination if thought to be at risk.

Two doses of MMR vaccine are required to give adequate protection.