Sunday, April 21, 2024

Iran rolls out free measles vaccination for Afghan, Pakistani migrants

Iran’s Health Ministry says all legal and illegal migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan in Iran, can vaccinate their children against preventable diseases free of charge.

Director of the Ministry’s Preventable Diseases Department Mohsen Zahraei says illegal Afghan migrants are worried that they would be arrested and returned to their country if they try to get their children vaccinated, while others are concerned about the costs.

Zahraei said this has led to the spread of measles, especially among the Afghan population that has flooded Iran.

“Thanks to a good coordination with the Interior Ministry, Afghan and Pakistani nationals can visit all health centers, irrespective of their legal or illegal residence in Iran, and get their children vaccinated against the measles and other diseases,” he said.

“Most of those suffering from measles are under 10 years old. It is necessary that all families get their children in the 12 to 18-months age group vaccinated against the measles.”

The official added that the World Health Organization has commended Iran for succeeding in getting the measles eliminated despite affected neighboring countries.

Zahraei stressed that this is an achievement that should be protected.

He said, to that end, the health ministry has identified 3,000 cases suspected of having the measles in a month, but the number of infections is on the rise with120 cases confirmed by early last week.

He warned that the measles is even more contagious than the coronavirus and takes the lives of 1 to 5 percent of the affected population in the countries, where it is spread.

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