Karachi - At a time when Pakistan is trying its best to contain coronavirus, health authorities in Sindh fear an outbreak of measles, Extensively Drug Resistant (XDR) Typhoid, Diphtheria and other vaccine-preventable diseases among children in the province, especially in Karachi where most of the parents are not visiting the vaccination centres for last two months to get their children vaccinated.

“There is definitely a measles outbreak in Sindh, especially Karachi where we have seen more measles cases in first four months in this year than the entire last year. There is no doubt that this is due to prevailing lockdown and related issues but routine vaccination among children has dropped alarmingly and it is a serious cause of concern,” renowned pediatrician and Director of National Institute of Child Health (NICH) Prof. Dr. Jamal Raza said on Friday. Talking to journalists at the start of World Immunization Week, which is observed from April 24 every year to emphasize the importance of vaccines, Prof. Jamal Raza said undoubtedly COVID-19 was a serious health issue and entire world was looking for its vaccine but unfortunately, people were not getting their children vaccinated against disease whose vaccines were available and children were vaccinated against these diseases free of charge in Pakistan.

“Routine vaccination has dropped upto 60 percent in Sindh and in some districts including Malir and South, it has dropped as low as 33 percent. Due to lockdown and other problems, parents are not going outside and getting their children vaccinated but they should take this issue seriously and get their children vaccinated as soon as possible against measles as well as 10 other vaccine-preventable diseases,” Prof. Jamal Raza appealed.