Measles outbreak hits schools

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MASERU — An outbreak of measles has hit schools in Maseru.

Two students from Motimposo Primary School reportedly died of measles after the disease hit the school in early March.

The first victim, a boy aged 7, died on March 6.

Five days later the disease claimed another victim, this time an 8-year-old girl.

Both victims were in Class 2, according to school authorities.

Health officials say the outbreak has spread to some schools and pre-schools.

Health officials could not give the exact number of the affected children saying they were still compiling a report on the issue. 

Children aged between six months and 15 years have been affected.

A teacher at Motimposo Primary School said on Monday 120 students were infected.

“We reported the matter to the ministry’s education officer who came and assessed the situation but asked us to continue classes with students who were not infected.

“The health officers came to the school and gave the students some injections to immunise the children.”

 A parent who lost her child to the disease said she thought it was just common cold when her child fell sick.

“She was just lying there helpless, she did not want to eat, talk and open her eyes but amazingly she was not swollen. She appeared quite normal but the only problem was that she could not respond to anything,” the parent said.

“Later on the doctors discovered that she had measles and was put on treatment when she died on March 13.”

“A few days before she died, she was looking much better. She was even talking to me but at night she became worse and that’s when we lost her,” she said.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, Tumisang Mokoai, said the ministry was working hard to control the situation.

“Both the government-owned hospitals, clinics and privately owned clinics are working hard to immunise children against the disease,” Mokoai said.

“Parents should take their children to the clinics, the vaccine is given for free,” he said.

A nurse at Ha-‘Nelese clinic, ‘Mateboho Thabane, said at least 200 children were immunised yesterday alone.

“I have even invited other retired nurses to come and help because people are coming in large numbers, just today I have immunised over 200 children,” Thabane said.

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