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Measles Break Out In Relief Camps

A breakout of measles in an earthquake relief camp is further complicating the relief efforts taken by the Pakistani authorities at Muzaffarabad. As many as 14 cases have been reported, with the death of a minor at the Hattian Bala Camp//.

"All of them are children and under surveillance," said Abdul Malik, Pakistan occupied Kashmir's Secretary of Health.

Malik said eight of the infected children had already been administered vaccinations for various diseases including measles, tetanus and polio during the ongoing campaign jointly launched by the region's health department and the United Nations.

He said the vaccination drive had been intensified and 250 staff members had been sent to remote mountainous villages. Out of 800,000, he added, 545,000 children of under-15-years of age had been vaccinated in the mountainous region.

The United Nations and other humanitarian organizations have warned of a second wave of deaths due to cold, hunger and diseases as they find it hard to reach quake survivors with relief goods and shelter in the face of lack of funds and logistics difficulties.

The UN has been appealing to the international community for more funding as it says around 400,000 quake survivors living at over 5,000 feet of altitude urgently need food and shelter.

Last month, donor countries and international financial institutions pledged $5.8 billion for reconstruction of regions ravaged by October's earthquake that killed more than 75,000 people and rendered 3.5 million people homeless.

--Indo-Asian News Service

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