Vaccine Preventable Deaths – 70 children in Zimbabwe
At least 70 children are being reported dead of measles in Zimbabwe in an outbreak that has gripped the Mashonaland Central province in the past two weeks. A national vaccination campaign has been in effect this year, however most of the deaths so far have occurred among members of the Apostolic church, who declined to take part in the massive immunization campaign, and also shun most other forms of western medicine in the belief that it diminishes their supernatural powers. In fact, it appears the anti-vaccination sentiment in members of the sect is so deep that a man reportedly beat his wife to death over her insistence that their two children be vaccinated against measles.
Jeremiah Makumbe (39) of Bhuka Farm in the Soti Source Resettlement Scheme allegedly murdered his wife, Beauty Mboneki (33), by kicking and hitting her with an iron bar after pressing ahead to have their children immunised at a local clinic. Makumbe has since appeared before Gutu resident magistrate Mr Amos Mbobo facing murder charges.
He was not asked to plead and Mr Mbobo remanded him in custody to next Wednesday for continuation of trial. Charges against Makumbe arose on September 16 this year at his homestead at Bhuka Farm when a dispute erupted between him and his wife after she told him that she was going to take their children for immunisation.
It is alleged that Makumbe was adamant that immunisation was out of the question as it was against their church doctrine. A heated argument ensued between the couple, both members of the apostolic sect.
Presenting the State case, prosecutor Mr Kumbirai Masasire said, in a fit of rage, Makumbe allegedly stood up and began kicking and punching his wife before striking her with an iron bar on the head inflicting serious head injuries.