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Africa - Southern Africa

Zim church sect hide measles patients
("Eyewitness News," December 18, 2009)

Nyazura, Zimbabwe - A church sect in Zimbabwe has apparently been hiding its sick members as measles spreads in the east of the country.

At least 30 people have died so far but there are fears the figure could be much higher.

Reports from remote Nyazura claim members of the Johanne Marange Apostolic Sect are locking up members who have contracted measles.

Others have dragged sick family members up into the hills away from health workers.

The sect does not believe in vaccination against measles and it is also against mainstream medical treatment.

Up till now, the Vapostori, as they are known, have been treating measles with holy water and at least 30 people are reported to have died.

The figure could be much higher, with locals saying some members of the sect are fast-tracking burials.

Villagers from Nyazura are up in arms, saying they have not seen a measles outbreak like this since 1929.


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