As health department
officials work to contain Minnesota’s largest measles outbreak in
decades, the most heavily affected population is contending with
continued targeting from anti-vaccination advocates.
As of Monday, 51 people have been sickened in the current outbreak, 46 of whom are members of the Somali community.
reported in April, the Somali population in Minneapolis and St. Paul
has been preyed upon by so-called “anti-vaxxers” spreading
misinformation about vaccines and autism — and its an ongoing issue.
April 30, some “vaccine-concerned groups”
held an in-person “Community Resource Meeting” that seemed designed to
specifically target the Somali-American and Somali immigrant
But as the measles outbreak rages, the latest updates suggest a developing community pushback against misinformation. Read more (5/11/17)
Hennepin County is in the midst of the state’s largest measles outbreak
since 2011. Nine cases have been reported since last week, and
officials expect the number to rise.
all of the cases are among unvaccinated children. They have something
else in common too: The affected children are all part of Minneapolis
and St. Paul’s Somali-American community.
According to a health
department official, Minnesota’s Somali immigrant community has been a
particular target of the anti-vaccination movement, colloquially known
“They’re very much
engaged with and targeting this community,” Kris Ehresmann,
infectious disease division director at the Minnesota Health Department,
said in a phone call Wednesday.
to Ehresmann, anti-vaccine groups began to target the Somali community
around 2008, amid concerns about autism among Somali-American
Anti-vaccine groups started reaching out to the Somali
community and showing up at community health meetings, she said,
disseminating misinformation linking autism to the measles, mumps and
rubella vaccine, or MMR. Since then, the population has seen a “steady decline in MMR vaccine rates.” Read more (4/19/17)
The series about the true stories of American immigrants is being produced by America Ferrera. A survivor of Somalia’s civil war, Ilhan spent four trying years in a Kenyan refugee camp before moving to the United States with her family at age 12. Her story only gets more inspiring from there.
After escaping from their home countries, refugees in the U.S. are now fleeing to Canada to get away from Trump, and the country’s xenophobia, Al Jazeera reports.
Farhan Ahmed, 36, and Mohamed Mualim, 28, are both Somali refugees. On Feb. 3, after trekking through knee-deep snow fields of North Dakota for five hours to cross the Canadian border, the duo arrived in Canada and subsequently filed for asylum.
Ahmed told Al Jazeera the impetus for flocking to Canada was mainly due to Trump and his executive order banning refugees for 120 days and visa holders from seven majority-Muslim countries, including Somalia.
Ahmed and Mualim are just two people out of dozens the Manitoba Interfaith Immigration Council have helped with resettling into Canada. Read more (2/13/17 2:03 PM)