Afghanistan: UN scrambling to treat deadly outbreak of whooping cough

Afghanistan: UN scrambling to treat deadly outbreak of whooping cough

The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) is scrambling to treat an outbreak of whooping cough in Afghanistan, which has already claimed the lives to two children in a village near the Tajik border.

According to a spokesman for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), a mobile clinic has been set up in Maymay – where the outbreak started approximately two weeks ago and two children have died – and 10 volunteers have already been trained. “Those persons are now administering the antibiotic drug ethromycine to anyone up to the age of 15 and anyone older who shows symptoms of whooping cough,” Manoel de Almeida e Silva said. “Some 332 patients have been treated so far.”

In the village of Paharok, there have been 10 deaths – all children under the age of three – and 177 cases of whooping cough diagnosed, according to Mr. de Almeida e Silva. The WHO taskforce there has seen 67 families so far.

“WHO states that the onset of the disease there goes back two months, which is why there is a higher mortality rate,” he noted. “WHO also informed us that two members of the Ministry of Health have also been deployed to the village of Kufob, also in the mountains near Maymay.”