In a follow-up on the measles outbreak in Kazakhstan, the Sanitary Epidemiological Control Committee of the Health Ministry reports 145 suspected measles cases, of which 75 (68 among kids under 14, and seven in adults) are confirmed nationally through March 27.
Of the confirmed cases, 52 were reported among unvaccinated kids, 11 among ones with conditions, and 10 cases among ones with an unknown history of vaccination.
Eleven of the cases were considered imported (Türkiye-5, Egypt-3, Tajikistan-2 and Kyrgyzstan-1).
Vaccination rates are a problem–31,414 persons have opted against preventive shots since early 2023 in the country, compared to 7,145 in 2022.
“The largest number of refusals are for children under the age of 1 year – 21,052 (67%). Among children in the age group 1-2 years old, 5,034 refusals (16%) were registered, 3-5 years old – 2,993 (9.5%), 6-15 years old – 1,963 (6.2%), over 16 years old – 372 (1.2%),” the Committee reported.
Currently, work is underway to stabilize the epidemiological situation of measles morbidity with the following measures.
The decree of the Chief State Sanitary Doctor of the Republic of Kazakhstan No. 1 of March 14, 2023 “On the organization and conduct of sanitary anti-epidemic and sanitary preventive measures on measles in the Republic of Kazakhstan” was issued. Similar measures have been taken by the chief state health physicians of the regions to prevent the spread of measles cases.
Regional health departments and territorial departments of the Committee are implementing anti-epidemic measures on measles and ensuring quality medical care to patients.
Anti-epidemic measures have been organized in the hotspots of infection aimed at identifying and vaccinating children who are not vaccinated against measles, as well as immunization of contacts under 30 years of age according to epidemiological evidence in the focal points.
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In accordance with the order of the Minister of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan dated December 20, 2020, Republic of Kazakhstan No. DSM-289/2020 “On the approval of the rules of admission to preschool organizations of children who have not received scheduled prophylactic vaccinations and the threshold level of collective immunity” work in preschool organizations has been strengthened in the integration of groups taking into account the threshold level of coverage of at least 90% scheduled preventive vaccinations against the total number of children in the group.
Monthly monitoring of coverage with planned preventive measles vaccinations is provided. Vaccination of persons who have missed vaccination during the coronavirus pandemic continues.
Medical workers were retraining in the clinic, diagnosis and treatment of vaccine-controlled infections, as well as measles prevention (105 seminars were conducted throughout the country, 2879 primary healthcare professionals were trained and 913 hospital medical workers).
Information and explanatory work with the population is carried out on a regular basis on the prevention of infectious diseases, including measles. Since the beginning of the incidence of measles (from February 2023), this work has been intensified.
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