FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018

Pakistan reports at least 12 deaths in measles outbreak

An unknown number of children have died from measles in North Waziristan, Pakistan, following a recent suicide attack on an Esha checkpoint.

Local health officials said at least two children died in the area because of the unavailability of medicine. Authorities imposed the curfew after the attack, which killed 17 security personnel and wounded 40 others. The curfew has stranded several children in their homes without treatment, the Express Tribune reports.

"We do not know how many children have died and how many are in critical condition as no one is allowed to visit the hospital right now," a doctor from Agency Headquarters Hospital, said, according to the Express Tribune.

The doctor said he was not allowed to go to work and all announcements were made via local mosques. Anyone spotted on the street after curfew would be shot on sight.

More than 24 children died from measles in North Waziristan since the start of the year. The outbreak began in April and it is thought that more than 40 died as a result of measles last year.

Lower Dir reported 10 measles deaths since the middle of March. Haji Muhammad Zamin Khan, a former member of the parliamentary assembly, said all the victims belonged to a remote area where district officials had not yet begun a vaccination drive.

Shaukat Ali, a local health official, said two teams were directed to the affected areas for a vaccination campaign.

"Around 450 children in both Maidan Babu Khan Bhanda and Samarbagh have been inoculated," Ali said, according to the Express Tribune. "We will send another team on Thursday to vaccinate those who are left."

More than 65 children died from measles in Upper Dir since the start of 2013, the Express Tribune reports.