QUETTA - After playing havoc in Sindh, now the measles outbreak is hitting parts of Balochistan, as two more children died of this viral disease and several other children were infected in the province after measles outbreak in different areas, increasing the death toll to 12.

This fatal disease is rapidly spreading in different districts particularly in those which were affected due to floods last year and bordering Sindh. According to reports reaching from Chagai district, two infants were affected of measles in Killi Ali Akbar of Chagai who were supposedly not given measles vaccination. One of the deceased child was identified as Mehrullah.

Sources said that the several other children were affected due to measles in the area and called for immediate steps to avoid further casualties.

Similarly, one-and half-year old baby died in New Killi Surkaab of district, Pishin, some 40 Kilometers away from Quetta, raising the death toll in district Pishin to five within three days.

Dozens of children were affected by measles in Jaffarabad and Naseerabad districts. A local journalist told TheNation on phone that six children of a family in tehsil Subatpur of Jaffarabad district, bordering Sindh, were infected of the measles and the condition of two of the children was stated to be serious. “Cases of measles are also erupting from different villages of Usta Muhammad, including Garibabad, Chachar Balan Shahk, Gott Laik Khan Jamali,” he added. Sources said that dozens of children have been affected due to measles in Manjipur a village adjacent to Sindh. Separately, three children were killed in Gott Abdul Majeed of Naseerabad district while dozens of other children were reportedly infected by measles due to lack of medical aid.

However, when contacted Assistant Commissioner (AC) Naseerabad district, Inam-ul-Haq confirmed death of three children of measles in Naseerabad district. “The children died of measles were not brought to the hospital for treatment,” he said, adding, that there was lack of awareness among the people as they did not timely approach hospital for medical aid.

“Owing to spread of diseases in neighbouring province Sindh we have taken preventive measures by giving free vaccination to the children and avoid spread of disease,” Inam-ul-Haq said, adding, that we were in contact with Health Department while a NGO MSF was also active in this regard. However, he conceded that there a shortage of vaccination.

It is pertinent to mention here that Jaffarabad and Naseerabad districts were badly affected due to floods last year and the flood affectees are still striving hard to rehabilitate with their houses ruined and having unhygienic food and water.

When contacted Health Secretary Balochistan Asmatullah Kakar confirmed five deaths due to measles in the province. “Three children died in Pishin district and two in Naseerabad,” he said, adding, that following the deaths a vaccination campaign had been started in 22 districts of Balochistan from Awaran to Ziarat. He said that during the vaccination campaign over 1.3 million children would be vaccinated in the province.