Ukrainian health officials reported this week (computer translated) the measles tally for 2018 and that number was an astounding 54,481. Of this total, 20,204 adults and 34,277 children were affected.
In addition, 16 people have died from the complications of measles: 12 children and 4 adults.
As of December 1, the number of children who received the first dose of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in a timely manner is 84.1%, two doses of the MMR – 83.9%.
Within the framework of intensified immunization, the proportion of children who received the missed first dose of the MMR is 54.5% (the least – in Cherkassy, Chernivtsi, Ternopil, Ivano-Frankivsk and Transcarpathian oblasts).
And the proportion of those children who have reimbursed two doses, even less – 44.7% (the least – in the Ternopil, Chernihiv, Chernivtsi, Transcarpathian and Ivano-Frankivsk regions).
The measles situation in 2018 prompted health officials to hold a briefing on “emergency measures” in Lviv yesterday.
Increasing the level of vaccination coverage is a matter of national security. As far as society is developed, it is so well vaccinated. We are launching a special operation in the Lviv region, aimed at mobilizing the whole area to protect the population from measles. In 2018 two children – a three-year-old boy and a girl died in the Lviv region because of complications from measles. Unfortunately, they were not vaccinated. Our common task is to protect our children from deadly diseases and to guarantee the national security of all Ukraine “, – noted in. at. Minister of Health of Ukraine, Dr. Ulyana Suprun.
Lviv saw the most cases in Ukraine in 2018 with nearly 12,000 cases and more than 8,000 in children. More than 7 ,000 were unvaccinated, while the others only received one dose of MMR.
“There are enough measles vaccines in Ukraine, they must be in all healthcare facilities where vaccines are procured, purchased at public expense. These vaccines are procured for Ukraine by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The quality of all vaccines is verified by the World Health Organization – they are effective and safe. The problem is that many Ukrainians do not vaccinate themselves and their children, “said Olga Stefanyshina, Deputy Minister of Health.
The most affected are measles in those areas where the coverage rate for the planned vaccination is the smallest – Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, Transcarpathian, and Odessa. So emergency measures for the immunization of children will start from the Lviv region, after which such special operations are planned in other regions of Ukraine.
In order to increase the level of immunization among children who have missed scheduled vaccinations for any reason, mobile brigades of professional health workers will work in the region starting in February.
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