By: Khadija Al-Khateeb
As the risks of measles continues to increase in Yemen, the Ministry of Health, World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF launched the second phase of its national campaign against measles and polio on March 13th. The campaign is targeting children under the age of ten in the provinces of Taiz, Hadramout, Sana’a, Hodeida, Amran, Ibb, Dali, Mahwed, Marib, Jawf, Rayma, Haja, and Al-Mahara. Measles is a serious viral disease and is highly contagious. Once infected, a person can experience inflammation of lungs, acute diarrhea, dehydration, chronic diarrhoea, malnutrition, inflammation of the brain. The disease can lead to blindness, deafness, and even death. The WHO estimated that in 2006, nearly 30,000 children were suffering from the disease. As a result, it was the fourth leading cause of death among children under 5. All of this can be easily avoided with a simple vaccine. Once a person receives a vaccine, they are immune from the disease for the rest of their life. It is in this context that the WHO, MoPHP and UNICEF are undertaking this campaign. Through these efforts, the concerned organizations are aiming to eradicate the disease in Yemen entirely.