Measles outbreak kills hundreds of children in Zimbabwe

Health ministry goes silent as deaths mount.

Updated: September 24, 2022 - 4:10pm

A measles outbreak has claimed hundreds of children's lives in Zimbabwe this month, a tragedy that advocates are blaming on faltering vaccine rates there and around the world.

Slightly over 700 children have reportedly succumbed to the disease there, the country's Ministry of Health and Child Care reported at the beginning of this month. A total of 6,500 cases had been logged at the time. 

Since that report, the health ministry has reportedly not provided any more updates. 

The sky-high infection and death rates come due to what experts claim is a significant dip in child vaccination rates in the country and in many parts of the world. 

Vaccinations against preventable diseases plummeted at the outset of the COVID pandemic, as doctors shuttered their offices due to fears of coronavirus outbreaks and patients stayed away for fear of catching the virus. 

Multiple other African countries, including Nigeria, Liberia and Ethiopia, have also reported large measles outbreaks in recent months.

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