Myitmakha News Agency
Yangon, September 8 – a strain of measles which struck the Naga Self-administered Zone (NSAZ), located in the mountainous remote-northwest of Myanmar, back in July has so far claimed the lives of 85 people, according the Naga National Affairs Council.
The death toll reportedly includes 20 children under the ages of five-years-old.
“We’re focusing our efforts on providing nutrition and emergency assistance, also taking special measures to ensure there’s enough medicine to go around,” Ko Naw Aung San, secretary of the Naga National Affairs Council, told Myitmakha News Agency.
Fifty-six healthcare professionals are reportedly providing replete healthcare services within the region.
“We’re holding talks with those concerned in order to mitigate a repeat of this outbreak. In the past, measles vaccines weren’t able to be administered comprehensively throughout the region. Things, which shouldn’t have happened, have happened because of accessibility issues; a result of poor road infrastructure. If the region’s to develop, that development needs to be across all sectors. There isn’t yet a need to make a proposal to Hluttaw as the regional government is working to tackle the disease,” said U Law Yone, Sagaing Region Hluttaw MP for Naga SAZ Constituency 1.
Ko Naw Aung San added that efforts to fight the contagious disease could be more effective if mobile healthcare treatment was given to each household as people from the region fear traveling long distances to hospitals and clinics. Citing a dearth of healthcare knowledge in the region, he also advocated that a change in approach to administering healthcare could potentially be more beneficial than current methods can allow.
This is not the first time in recent history, however, that the Naga region has been struck by widespread fatalities, with many losing their lives during a famine which swept across the region back in 1970.