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Pakistan Records 306 Measles Deaths In 2012, Compared With 64 In 2011, WHO Reports

“Measles cases surged in Pakistan in 2012, and hundreds of children died from the disease, an international health body said Tuesday,” the Associated Press/CBS News reports. “A spokeswoman for the World Health Organization, Maryam Yunus, said that 306 children died in Pakistan of measles in 2012, compared to 64 the year before,” the news agency writes (1/2). “She added that most of the children who died were from districts affected by floods for the past three years, and that malnourishment was a major reason for the high rate of measles deaths in Sindh,” GlobalPost writes (Langlois, 1/1).

“The WHO report handed to the government said the primary reason for the outbreak was a failure to complete the immunization program,” according to IRIN, which adds, “It said 53 percent of children in the province had not received the vaccine” (1/3). “In recent days Pakistani officials said they launched an immunization campaign to reach children in the worst-hit areas,” but “the country still struggles with a beleaguered health care system, unsanitary conditions in many regions, and a lack of education about how to prevent disease,” the AP states (1/1).