Outbreaks of jaundice, measles, and Abu Kaab in some Lebanese regions: the critical reality

The medical sector has not been able to catch its breath since the beginning of the Corona pandemic until today, and it continues to be exhausted despite all desperate attempts to revive it and regain its previous position.

In light of the talk about the spread of respiratory viruses and the World Health Organization’s warning of the worrying phenomenon in China, Lebanon faces a different challenge due to the spread of other viruses such as jaundice, measles, and others, which bear a clear indication that Lebanese society suffers from a significant lack of immunization.

Many reasons were responsible for the decline in vaccination among Lebanese children, and the phenomenon of decline began with the beginning of the Corona pandemic, continuing its continuous decline as a result of the economic crisis and its consequences on Lebanese families. It was not easy for many to withstand these basic obstacles, the most important of which are the cost and transportation to health care centers and medical clinics, which led to them abandoning or stopping receiving basic vaccines.

The downward path recorded by the child vaccination schedule in Lebanon reflects the extent of reality. After the routine vaccination rate for Lebanese children ranged between 80 to 100 percent before 2019, it decreased by 30 percent. The year 2021 was the most difficult, as the vaccination rate was 40 percent, while the rate in 2020 was between 60 and 79 percent.

Despite all the attempts and efforts made, the loophole is still present and appeals have been of no avail in avoiding the spread of viruses in Lebanon. While the world is preoccupied with the viruses spreading in China and the recording of the first human case infected with an influenza variant similar to a virus that infects pigs in Britain, those concerned are crying out after the outbreak of jaundice, measles, and rabies in some areas.

Representative Abdul Rahman Al-Bizri does not hide that we need to focus on basic vaccines for children before talking about vaccines against the Corona virus, and his speech came after he closely touched on the return of some viruses and concern about the return of other viruses that had disappeared in the past.

Among the viruses that are spreading in some areas, Al-Bizri talks about “jaundice,” “hepatitis A,” and measles, in addition to the emergence of a few cases of “Abu Kaab.” As it has become known, jaundice began appearing 3 years ago, and the reason is the problem of sanitation and the absence of clean and safe water for home use or irrigation. Therefore, health infrastructure is the primary cause of jaundice cases recorded in Lebanon.

The solution is to restart the sewage network system, in addition to taking a dose of the hepatitis A vaccine to ensure protection against the disease.”

As for the spread of measles, the reason, according to Al-Barzi, is due to the general decline in vaccination in Lebanon. The reason is due to the spread of the Corona virus and people’s fear of going to health care centers and medical clinics, in addition to the increase in the poverty rate due to the economic crisis that Lebanon faced.

After recording a decline in the rate of routine vaccination for children between 30 and 40 percent, the Ministry of Health, in cooperation with UNICEF and the World Health Organization, seeks to encourage people to take vaccines and provide mobile clinics to vaccinate children and return to the vaccination rate that was in Lebanon before the Corona pandemic.

Areas such as the Bekaa and the North, especially in Akkar and Tripoli, witness the spread of jaundice, but this does not rule out the registration of some cases in Beirut and its suburbs, except that the largest percentage is in the North and the Bekaa. As for measles, it is generally present in most Lebanese regions, and the reason for its spread is the general decline in the vaccination rate.

In the face of this reality, doctors and health professionals fear the spread of viruses in society that may cause major health problems. It is important to know that children who do not receive their basic routine vaccinations are at risk of contracting preventable and potentially serious diseases such as measles, diphtheria and pneumonia, which could cause a viral outbreak in the country.

This is what Al-Barzi expresses in his talk about the return of viruses that had disappeared in the past, and in his opinion, “there are diseases that should not have appeared again or had a very little effect as a result of vaccination, and they reappear again. The appearance of smallpox is considered the greatest evidence of this and the need to intensify immunization.” In Lebanese society, it is also considered that modernizing the infrastructure must be a priority, and we remember well the emergence of cholera cases as a result of the blatant weakness in the infrastructure.”

What Lebanon is facing in terms of the return of viruses that have disappeared is no different from what the world is facing, as wars, the Corona pandemic, and climate change have resulted in the emergence of new diseases or the return of previous viruses. Desertification and encroachment on green spaces is also considered an entry into life cycles between viruses and animals and the risk of transmitting them to humans. Therefore, globally there is a risk of the emergence of new diseases.

2023-11-28 12:59:00

#Outbreaks #jaundice #measles #Abu #Kaab #Lebanese #regions #critical #reality

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