By Lefulesele Mahana


Measles is a pandemic disease caused by a virus and spreads within a very short space of time among children. It has been conceded that in the Maseru district there is experiencing a spike of the measles pandemic, in schools and surrounding villages.

On February 2023, the Ministry of Health received notification that our neighboring country, South Africa, particularly the Free State province, traces of measles have been identified in a number of children. Suspects from St Barnabas were admitted and tested and the tests proved that it is indeed measles. This fabricated the Ministry of Health to be on high alert and prioritize notifying the public.

In Lesotho, two children were admitted for measles at Choatlella health Centre two weeks ago, at Ha Mants’ebo. Ministry of Health took it upon themselves to take initiative to notify the parents of the affected children to keep them indoors for a stipulated period of time, away from common areas where kids normally socialize. There Department then decided to roll out an immunization campaign in schools, clinics and villages alike. Health centers which descend under Scott Hospital set forth their measles campaign without wasting time, thus far over 3,000 children have been immunized/Injected.

It was only last week when four other kids were found infected yet again in Maseru. Grounds of declaration of a pandemic; an Illness is considered a pandemic when more than 3 people in a particular area have been infected. The 17th April to the 21st all children in the country under the age of 10 will be immunized to cub measles infections and stop the spread from escalating.

“We are making a plea to parents to bring forth their children for the measles vaccination. If children are vaccinated chances of the infection spreading are very low, the injection will go together with the vitamin A supplement vaccine. During the course of the week health care workers will be enrolling on a mission to nearby and afar villages to educate the public of the importance of vaccination and urge them to bring their children. Letters have been sent out throughout all the schools in the country to join in this measles campaign and grant permission to students to be vaccinated,” Said Doctor Makhele.

Since the immunization is currently only available at public clinics one of the parents Mrs Makhotso complained that they as parents are reluctant to allow their kids to be vaccinated at the clinics because of the congestion experienced at the clinics and lack of caution when facilitating the vaccines by the clinic personnel’s.

The cause of the pandemic is considered to be low percentages of vaccinated children. In the last round only 33% of children were granted the measles injection while the expected percentage was 90%. The reason behind was because parents did not bring their children for the injection presuming the vaccines to be dangerous. The Ministry of Health’s target is aimed at immunizing 114,000 children.

“It is going to be hard to end this pandemic because if one person chooses not to bring their child for vaccination then it mean the stand a risk of infection and possibly spreading the virus which will lead to a repeat of the very same cycle.” confessed  Mr Thamae

It is very vital for kids to take the injection because measles is a virus which can be easily transmitted through air and touch, it takes 7 to 18 days to see the symptoms in the infected person. There are a false rumor going around that the injection is erroneous for kids and that is totally untrue, if anything it does the opposite, giving life to the children.

Parents claim that some time back after the measles immunization, their children experience terrible illness with symptoms like; fever, vomiting, loss of weight and appetite. They are panicky when they have to take their children to the clinics and this is the root cause of low vaccination percentages in children.

“Perhaps parents lack necessary education in terms of the harmful impact measles has on children, measles can cause ear problems and this can result in brain damage. Pneumonia and diarrhea can also come as the results. In Lesotho, cases of pneumonia and diarrhea result in death or high rates of infant mortality rate. It is imperative for parents to understand what this injection aims to prevent not escalate the spread,” uttered Dr Makoae.

In a week 90% of children are expected to be injected before the pandemic rates sky rocket. This is a plea to parents to usher their children to be immunized.