More than 100 measles cases were reported since November, including 20 deaths in children in Nuba Mountains region in South Kordofan, Sudan, according to Tutu Mustafa, Secretary of Health in the Nuba Mountains region.

Sudan map/CIA
Sudan map/CIA

The region has been host to fighting between SPLM-North and the Sudanese government for five years. Mustafa attributed the problem to poor health conditions due to lack of vaccination of children since the outbreak of war in 2011 .He called on the international community to put pressure on the Khartoum government to allow vaccination of children in the Blue Nile and South Kordofan regions.

Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, which affects mostly children. It is transmitted via droplets from the nose, mouth or throat of infected persons. Initial symptoms, which usually appear 10–12 days after infection, include high fever, runny nose, bloodshot eyes, and tiny white spots on the inside of the mouth. Several days later, a rash develops, starting on the face and upper neck and gradually spreading downwards.

There is no specific treatment for measles and most people recover within 2–3 weeks. However, particularly in malnourished children and people with reduced immunity, measles can cause serious complications, including blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea, ear infection and pneumonia. Measles can be prevented by immunization.

Despite a 79% worldwide decrease in measles deaths between 2000 and 2015, nearly 400 children still die from the disease every day, leading health organizations said in a November report.