Measles and pneumonia epidemics continue in northwestern Pakistan

Measles and pneumonia have killed 47 people over the past two weeks in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

The health crisis has been centered in the province's Upper Dir District. The Dir District Headquarters Hospital recently formed a special unit to fight the epidemics in the area. Mobile teams from other regions have also been dispatched to the area, according to

Upper Dir District Health Officer Dr. Abdul Wakeel said that the death toll could potentially be much higher than the confirmed 47. He said that many more deaths have likely occurred in regions rendered inaccessible due to harsh weather conditions.

Wakeel said that local teams have been dispatched to the affected areas and are being accompanied by healthcare workers from the World Health Organization and other international organizations monitoring the situation. WHO and other U.N. bodies are focusing on the crisis predominantly in the areas of Thall, Komrat and Lamoti.

"So far around 1,400 children have been vaccinated while door-to-door vaccination is still continuing," Wakeel said, reports.

Sources from the provincial health department also reported that many of the affected children are also suffering from malnutrition and need to be taken care of as soon as possible.