|Event:|| EP Epidemic|
|Country:|| TJK Tajikistan|
|Date (YMD):|| 2017-5-11|
|Comments:|| In mid-April 2017, Tajikistan reported 263 registered cases of measles, out of which 157 were laboratory confirmed. Based on official data, by 1 May, the number of notified and investigated cases significantly increased from 263 to 345 patients, with 246 (71%) out of them hospitalized. No deaths were reported to date.
The measles outbreak in Tajikistan started in April 2017 out of Rudaki district spreading to the capital city Dushanbe and thesurrounding districts and Khatlon oblast.
The most affected group are children between 1 to 9 years of age. This also corresponds to the cohort born after the last national measles and rubella (MR) immunization campaign conducted in 2009. Normally, the immunization centre of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection (MoHSP) carries out immunization on an annual basis in case of approx. 97 per cent of this cohort while the remaining three per cent tends to remain non-immunized, including migrants, gypsy and displaced people.
In response to the outbreak, the MoHSP is currently planning to conduct a nationwide MR vaccination campaign targeting children aged 1 to 9 years from 15 to 26 May 2017 with the support of the Measles and Rubella Outbreak Response Initiative (MRI) Fund.
The significant increase in new cases started in April and the trend is expected to continue. Out of the 48 new cases recorded during week 16 (17-23 April 2017), 96 per cent were unimmunized. The proportion of affected adults is somewhat higher (16.7%) than during the previous outbreak in 2009 (10.5%). The total proportion of unvaccinated persons affected by the outbreak among all the population increased from 81.9% in week 15 to 84% in week 16.