Measles kill nearly 380 people every day

Although there is an inexpensive and effective vaccine, measles is one of the most common causes of death among young children.

Meslingevaksinering i Afghanistan. Foto: Sebastien Bolesch/Leger Uten Grenser

In 2010 over 139.300 people died of measles, and most of them were under five years old. Measles are frequent in countries that are affected from natural disasters.

The symptoms or signs of measles is fever, rash, a runny nose and cough. Measles affects malnourished children the most and is a virus that weakens the immune system and makes the person vulnerable to infections. The worst things that can happen are lung infections, blindness, heart infections and serious diarrhea.

One dose of the measle vaccine has to be preserved cold all the way from production to when it?s injected into the child?s arm, otherwise it?s not usable. This is a big problem because the temperature in certain areas can be over 40 degrees, and they have no electricity either.

Right now the vaccine is in a syringe which means that only nurses and doctors can give the vaccine, which is a problem too, because many countries in Africa, for example the Central African Republic only have 300 doctors in the whole country. That is less than the number of doctors we have in Bergen, and they have the same population as Norway.

This is a problem that needs to be solved. It would?ve been so much easier if the vaccine had existed in a formula that could have been inhaled or drunk. Then other people than nurses and doctors could give the medicine to more people and then hopefully the high numbers would go down.

Medecins sans frontieres (MSF) gives mass vaccinations of large outbreaks of measles, while they also help people that are already infected with the deadly disease. MSF has over forty years of experience in fighting against measles under bad conditions and they are fighting for new vaccine strategies that are better adapted to resource-poor areas. '

Hopefully more people will support and give money to organizations like MSF so they can give more vaccines to more people and help them to get better.

- Selma, Dorthea, Marie og Henrik

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Glemte kriser 2012

Glemte kriser 2012

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