UOSSM reports more than 40 measles cases in Syria

More than 40 cases of measles were recently detected in North Syria and Syrian refugee camps, according to a Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organizations report on Monday.

The UOSSM said there were at least 25 cases of measles in the Bab Alhawa refugee camp, five cases in a Bab Alhawa hospital and 10 cases in Aleppo. There were two deaths among the 10 measles cases in Aleppo. Additionally, an official with the Jordanian Ministry of Health said there were 13 measles cases detected among Syrian refugees in Jordan.

"Measles is one of the most contagious and deadly of all childhood diseases," Tawfik Chamaa, a UOSSM spokesperson, said. "However, it is preventable by vaccination. It is very imperative to administer a wide campaign of vaccination to the displaced Syrian children, and those in the refugee camps. Those children have already missed their vaccination schedule due to displacement and the cessation of vaccination programs in several areas across Syria, in addition to the high susceptibility among children to acquiring infectious disease, due to the harsh environmental conditions, the crowded area in the refugee camps, and the poor nutritional status many of them are suffering from. We call on WHO and UNICEF to conduct an urgent wide vaccination program on Syrian children, inside Syria and in the refugee camps."

The UOSSM praised the Jordanian Ministry of Health for launching a campaign to vaccine Syrian children in refugee camps. According to the Jordan Times, the health ministry launched the campaign on Saturday to vaccinate 90,000 Syrian refugees against measles and 24,000 refugees against polio. The campaign will also distribute 22,000 doses of vitamin A.

The UOSSM is a coalition of non-governmental and humanitarian organizations created in response to the deadly conflict in Syria.