Zimbabwe

UNICEF is concerned about the impact of measles outbreak

UNICEF is deeply concerned with the numbers of cases and deaths among children due to a measles outbreak in Zimbabwe.

Harare, 5 September 2022 - UNICEF is deeply concerned with the numbers of cases and deaths among children due to a measles outbreak in Zimbabwe.

On 10 April 2022, Mutasa District in Manicaland Province was the first district to report a measles outbreak. According to the latest data shared by the Government of Zimbabwe through the weekly Disease Surveillance System, a total of 6034 suspected cases, 4266 recoveries and 685 deaths have so far been recorded since the onset of the outbreak. Manicaland Province has the highest burden (52.5%) and highest case fatality rate (9.8%).

UNICEF and partners are supporting the Government’s response and the Rapid Response Teams the Government has deployed in the affected districts. UNICEF assists the Government to control the outbreak through the tracking of cases in the community and through supplementary immunization activities. The measles campaign targets more than 2 million children aged between 6 months and 5 years and more than 4 million children aged 5 to 15 years.

UNICEF and partners are also supporting risk communication and community engagement activities rolled out by the Government. Vaccine hesitancy in communities is addressed with Information, Education and Communication materials and interpersonal communication highlighting the benefits of the vaccines. UNICEF and partners are helping to collect and respond to misinformation and rumors circulating within communities.

UNICEF thanks the Measles Rubella Initiative, GAVI, The Vaccine Alliance, the partners of the Health Development Fund, and all other donors for supporting the Government led the response to the measles outbreak and the purchase of additional measles vaccine doses, and for their continuous support to the children of Zimbabwe.

For more information: Yves Willemot, Chief of Communication, ywillemot@unicef.org, +263 77 21 24 268