HYDERABAD: A measles outbreak which erupted in a village populated by a gypsy community in Umerkot district has so far claimed lives of 10 children aged up to 12 years.
The health authorities, however, have only confirmed six deaths while dozens of other children are being treated to recover from the viral disease.
The deceased, all hailing from village Sabhri Mitho Jogi, were identified as Ramchand Jogi, Lachmi Jogi, Pooja Jogi, Veeram Jogi, Padma Jogi and Devi Jogi, among four others.
“My son died within a week after falling sick after catching this viral [infection],” Khemchand Jogi, father of Ramchand said. According to him, his son was treated at home while some of the deceased were taken to private clinics.
“Six children are believed to have died to measles,” said district health officer of Umerkot, Dr Karmoon Mal. He claimed that all the deceased children belonged to a gypsy tribe which often kept relocating. “Owing to their constant relocation, their children may not have been immunised,” he added.
The villagers, however, said no immunisation team had visited their village. “Our children have not been vaccinated for any viral [disease] for many years.”
They demanded an inquiry into the outbreak to fix responsibility on the officials for neglecting the village.
On Monday, health authorities set up a medical camp in the village where the children were diagnosed and immunised. Those with symptoms like sore throat, runny nose, dry cough, inflammation in eyes and others were referred to civil hospital.
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