The general public in
has been urged to be on a look out for measles symptoms in unsuspecting patients. Eastern Province
Provincial Medical Officer, Dr. Kennedy Malama, said people should be on alert to identify measles whilst in its early stage and ensure treatment is done.
Dr. Malama was speaking during the Provincial Epidemic Preparedness Committee meeting held at Luangwa House in Chipata.
He said the symptoms of measles were fever, skin rush with reddish soars and soar eyes, adding that, immediately people saw the symptoms, they should seek medical attention from health institutions.
Dr. Malama noted that if the disease was not treated quickly, it affected the brain, lungs and intestines, saying it may eventually lead to death.
‘’The symptoms should be known so that people do not delay in seeking medical attention. The rush with reddish sores starts from the back of the neck and spreads to the face and later the disease goes to the brain, the lungs and intestines,’’ he said.
Dr. Malama also cautioned people not to be using herbal medicines to treat measles, adding that, some herbs were very strong and they damaged vital organs in human bodies such as kidneys, resulting in death.
He was responding to the concerns raised by Eastern Province Permanent Secretary, Eularia Syamujaye, who said some people especially in villages were still using traditional way of treating measles where mothers secluded the sick children by taking them to the bush and gave them treatment.
‘’There is need for all to take children to health centers unlike using herbal medicine which may be strong and damage vital organs like kidneys and may also lead to death,’’ Dr. Malama said.
He said measles was with the people of the province and there was need to give the disease all the attention it deserved.
The Doctor said he was proud that the province reached at least 95 percent of the target but there was still more to be done.
He observed that the region recorded 1, 025 cases of measles and there was need to reach out to remote places to immunize children with the support from district leaders.
Meanwhile, Director of Public Health and Research at Ministry of Health, Dr. Victor Mukonka, commended the Provincial Epidemic Preparedness Committee for responding quickly to epidemics.
He however said the province still had a problem with measles which he said was a preventable disease, saying, through immunization, the battle could be won.
Dr. Mukonka said there should be routine immunization and leaders at various levels should help mobilize communities to end the problem.
‘’For many years we have not seen cases of measles and new cases mean that children have not been vaccinated for a long time,’’ he said.