Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) recently said that measles cases in Yemen have increased dramatically during the first half 2023.
According to the report published on August 18, in the first half of 2023, the number of measles patients received in MSF-supported facilities has nearly tripled, at almost 4,000, compared to the whole of 2022.
“In 2020, we saw the number of measles patients in our clinics drop from 731 in 2019, to just 77. We might attribute this to the massive vaccination campaign carried out in 2019,” says Isaac Alcalde, MSF head of mission in Yemen.
“But the dramatic increase we’ve seen this year cannot be ignored – the caseload has nearly tripled, going up to almost 4,000, increasing the strain on medical facilities, which are already overloaded. These are not just numbers we’re talking about – they’re children’s lives,” says Alcalde.
United Nations agencies have also highlighted the severe increase in vaccine-preventable diseases in Yemen, pointing out that the country recorded more than 22,000 measles cases in 2022, including 161 deaths. In April of this year, there had already been 16,114 cases. With diphtheria and pertussis – whooping cough – cases are also on the rise, as are deaths from each disease.
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