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New Measles Outbreak Claims Lives of 70 Children in Zimbabwe Province

The fatalities have occurred among members of an Apostolic sect who declined to take part in a national child immunization campaign earlier this year

Some 70 children have died in a new outbreak of measles in Mashonaland Central province in the past two weeks in spite of a national vaccination program carried out earlier this year, senior provincial authorities said Thursday.

Health Ministry Disease Control Director Portia Manangazira confirmed to the state-controlled Herald newspaper that a new outbreak was in progress in the province north of Harare.

The fatalities have occurred among members of the Apostolic church who declined to take part in the massive immunization campaign. The United Nations Children Fund said it is investigating.

Mashonaland Central Governor Martin Dinha told VOA Studio 7 reporter Brenda Moyo that he has been frustrated at the slow response by national health authorities to the deadly outbreak.