Title

The upsurge of SSPE--a reflection of national measles immunization status in Pakistan

Document Type

Article

Department

Paediatrics and Child Health

Abstract

Subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE) is a rare disorder in the developed world. However, an upsurge has been seen lately in our part of the world owing to inadequate measles immunization coverage. At the midst of our struggle against polio, we are struggling with the war against other vaccine-preventable childhood illnesses like measles. The increasing numbers of SSPE that we reported over the past half decade suggest an underlying periodic measles epidemic in Pakistan. In addition, children are now presenting with SSPE in early childhood, warranting a relook, reinforcement and strengthening of primary immunization and mandatory two-dose measles vaccination for all children nationwide. Previously undertaken Measles Supplementary Immunization Activity were a failure in terms of providing the expected cover against measles in young children. Intensive surveillance and establishment of SSPE registers at the district level is essential for eradication of this easily preventable disorder. Unless timely efforts are made to achieve global immunization, SSPE is bound to add to the national disability burden.

Publication

Journal of Tropical Pediatrics