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159 tested, 8 positive cases of measles: Health Minister

Shahudha Mohamed
06 February 2020, MVT 20:15
Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen presenting a letter of appreciation to UNICEF Representative in Maldives Mohamed El Munir A. Safieldin for UNICEF's prompt provision of 200,000 doses of MR vaccines. PHOTO: HEALTH MINISTRY
Shahudha Mohamed
06 February 2020, MVT 20:15

Minister of Health Abdulla Ameen stated on Thursday that a total of 159 suspected cases were tested for measles so far, following the outbreak in the country after the eradication of the disease in 2017.

Speaking at a ceremony held at Health Ministry for the handover of vaccines and consumables procured through UNICEF Maldives' assistance, Minister Ameen noted that only eight of the aforementioned cases tested positive.

"No cases have, so far, tested positive after January 28", he said, adding that over 6,000 individuals have been vaccinated for measles during the state's immunisation programme during the outbreak.

UNICEF, on Thursday, provided 200,000 doses of vaccines to continue the state's supplementary vaccine programme without any interruptions.

Minister of Health awarded a certificate of appreciation to UNICEF's Representative in Maldives Mohamed El Munir A. Safieldin, in gratitude of UNICEF's prompt response to the health emergency.

In addition to acquiring resources and vaccine supply, Minister Ameen stated that authorities have collected data on vaccine coverage in Maldives. He added that a database has already been compiled on this information and is in the last stages of finalisation.

By utilising the database, "we hope to achieve our vaccine coverage targets within the next three months", Minister Ameen said.

In addition to providing supplementary MR vaccine doses, Ministry of Health's efforts to tackle the measles outbreak includes hosting communication camps to raise awareness and hold a vaccination campaign targeting the general population, including expatriates.

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