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More vaccinations needed

Staff Reporter / 27 April 2013

At least four out of every 100,000 children under five in the UAE die due to gastroenteritis each year, caused by the rotavirus, which can be prevented through vaccination, according to health experts.

Marking Vaccination Week in the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) region, experts highlighted the need for greater vaccination coverage.

Rotavirus causes around 111 million cases of gastroenteritis, globally, each year.

Consultant Paediatrician at Mediclinic City Hospital in the UAE Dr Kethar Saravanan said: “Rotavirus is the most common form of diarrheal virus amongst infants around the world, and one of the number one causes of hospitalisation amongst children under the age of five in the Middle East,” he explained.

Due to lack of awareness and vaccination against this disease, it is estimated that as many as four out of every 100,000 UAE children under the age of five may die of the virus each year: “By simply raising awareness of the importance of vaccinating children against this virus, we can significantly reduce the prevalence of this illness and ensure protection.”

Managing Director of MSD Gulf Mazen Altaruti said that each year an estimated 2.5 million lives are saved through vaccinations.

According to latest figures, around 2.2 per cent of UAE females suffer from human papillomavirus (HPV) at any given time, putting them at risk of cervical cancer, with an average of 50 UAE females being diagnosed every year.

Talking about the impact of HPV and cervical cancer in the UAE, Independent Consultant in Community Gynecology Dr Anne Phillip, who runs the Community Gynecology, Menopause & Family planning clinic said: “HPV is one of the most common viruses affecting women around the world.”

asmaalizain@khaleejtimes.com

 
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