Dhaka, July 17: Measles was the cause of nine children’s deaths at Sitakunda Upazila in Chittagong district, revealed the government on Monday.
Addressing a press conference at the IEDCR conference room at Mohakhali in Dhaka, Director General for Health Services Prof Abul Kalam Azad explained their investigation reports to journalists and said ‘sorry’ on behalf of the health officials who for decades did not go to that small tribe group consisting of 85 families who live in a remote Tripura Para of Sonaichhari in Baraulia. These families are consisted of 388 persons.
Examining the blood samples collected from the bodies of dead and hospital admitted children, the Directorate General of Health Services has reached the conclusion that the children were infected with measles. They were also suffering from malnutrition. “There are 85 families live in Tripurapara ar Madhyam Sonaichhari under Sitakundu upazila, annd none of the children there received measles vaccine,” he said.
Azad said they are now revisiting their “whole micro-planning system” at the village level that they carry out before any immunisation campaign.
But, flanked by a WHO medical officer, the director general assured that there is no alarm of measles outbreak in Bangladesh.
“The measles situation is as usual across Bangladesh. This is a small isolated pocket and they never take modern treatment,” he said, adding that “if they took modern treatment then those deaths could be prevented”.
Earlier, a team of the government’s disease monitoring agency, IEDCR, rushed to the hilly village on July 11 following reports of deaths of children from an unknown disease.