Rising Rubella, Measles Cases among Children in Yemen Worries the WHO

After more than 34,000 instances of measles and rubella among children in Yemen, the World Health Organization (WHO) expressed concerns in a statement on Thursday about rising cases of the diseases.

As of July, the number of suspected measles and rubella cases in Yemen reached 34,300 with 413 deaths, which is a sharp increase compared to 27,000 cases and 220 associated deaths registered in the WHO 2022 data.

The WHO statement added that the fact that there’s only limited information on the outbreak’s impact on pregnant women, who remain at high risk, is an additional concern.

The WHO-UNICEF 2022 National Immunization Coverage Estimate shows that 27% of Yemeni children under one year of age are not vaccinated for measles and rubella nor have been administered even the minimal set of jabs for full protection.

A large number of children are still unreachable through routine immunization interventions due to the overwhelmed health system, high displacement, and overcrowding at the refugee camps.

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