Measles is back
With outbreaks reported from across the world, measles' eradication by 2020 seems difficult | |
NARAINPUR KANHAULI, a small village in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district is in the throes of an epidemic; one that is killing children. Hushna Mohammad’s two-and-a-half-year-old daughter Lucky was one of the victims. Her family was hoping that traditional remedies would cure her of the rashes. But she passed away on April 16. The family was trying to cope with the loss when Lucky’s cousin, one-and-a-half-year-old Khushi, daughter of Rashid Mohammad, developed the same symptoms and had to be rushed to the district hospital. She died on April 18. Bitty, two-year-old daughter of Jan Mohammad, Hushna’s brother, was the next victim. At least eight children of this extended family have been affected by the disease in the last month. But this is not the only family suffering from the disease. Among others is six-year-old Tuba, daughter of Aseem Mohammad. The child, known for her chirpiness in the community, was lying quietly on a bed when the Down To Earth team went to Narainpur on April 30. Her mother Hadeesu complained that the child was neither eating nor drinking. The family had taken her to the district hospital but doctors referred her to the Banaras Hindu University in Varanasi. On May 3, Tuba also died.
These children belong to the marginalised Muslim Nat community. Five children of the powerful Yadav caste in the area took ill too but survived.
The area’s Chief Medical Officer (cmo), Ravindra Kumar says that the disease is measles, a vaccine-preventable disease caused by an airborne virus of the paramyxovirus family. When asked, the villagers said that nobody came to vaccinate the children. However, Bhagwanti Yadav, local health worker, said the villagers did not allow vaccination despite efforts by medical staff. “They hide the children when we come,” she said. When Rashid Mohammad was asked the reason, he said that the vaccine would make their children sick and impotent. cmo Kumar said that
Hadeesu's six-year-old daughter Tuba died of measles on May 3 in Narainpur Kanhauli village in Jaunpur district of Uttar Pradesh SRIKANT CHAUDHARY / CSE