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Vaccines and Africa - by Hilary Butler (IV5.4)

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“WELL HILARY”, said the voice at the end of the

phone, “that is such an outstanding achievement,

you can’t argue with that, surely?!”

This person had just read out figures from an article1 which

stated that vaccination had slashed the death rate from measles

by 91% since 2000, and that death rates worldwide had fallen

from an ‘estimated’ 757,000 to 242,000 (68%) in 6 years. That

quote came from the Measles Initiative. So does this2 quote:

“Why Children Die Of Measles

Measles is a leading killer of children in many developing

countries for several reasons. Children are already compromised

with poor living conditions, they are infected at very young

ages when their immune systems are not strong, malnutrition

is rampant in many homes, and many families do not have

access to medical care to treat measles and its complications.

Measles, itself, does not kill children. Instead, complications

from measles attack the child’s already weak immune system.

Measles attacks the body, inside and out. It is similar to HIV

in the sense that when it knocks down the immune system, the

child becomes susceptible to the myriad of diseases that fester

in poor living conditions.”