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Pakistan to Start Vaccinations as Measles Kills 193 Children

Pakistan will start a vaccination drive next week to stem an outbreak of measles that has killed 193 children this year in the southern province of Sindh.

Eighty seven deaths were reported this month alone, Masood Solangi, the Sindh government’s director of public health, said today in a telephone interview. The vaccines will be sent to the cities of Ghotki, Sukkur, Khairpur, Kashmore, Shikarpur, Larkana and Qambar, he said.

Catch-up Campaign will begin on Dec. 31 and last for 10 days, seeking to immunize 3 million children in the age of nine months to 10 years, health department spokesman Saleem Khan said yesterday. A total of 2,225 cases of measles were reported in Pakistan this year, Solangi said.

“This is the worst situation of measles in the history of the country,” Solangi said. “The authorities will initially administer a dose of vitamin A to children to stop the disease from spreading.”

Lack of commitment by local doctors and administrators, combined with defective storing of vaccines lead to the deaths, Solangi said.

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