The measles outbreak that began in mid-April in Rudaki district, Tajikistan, has grown to 345 cases through May 1, according to the International Federation of Red Cross And Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

TajikistanThe outbreak has now spread to the capital city of Dushanbe and the surrounding districts as well as Khatlon oblast and the trend of sharp increase in new cases is expected to continue.

The group most affected by the epidemic are children between 1 to 9 years of age. Approximately 84 percent of the patients are reported as being unvaccinated.

In response to the outbreak, the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MoHSP) has commenced a nationwide measles and rubella (MR) vaccination campaign targeting children aged 1 to 9 years through 26 May 2017 with the support of the Measles and Rubella Outbreak Response Initiative (MRI) Fund. The Government of Tajikistan already agreed on a draft decree declaring the national immunization campaign against measles with relevant ministries and submitted it for parliamentary approval.