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Measles thwart reindeer herder meeting

A gathering of reindeer herders, fishermen and hunters, which was to have taken place on 23 March in the village of Ruskinskaya in the Surgut district of the Khanty-Mansiysk Autonomous Okrug, and which has essentially become a national celebration of indigenous peoples, was cancelled.

handid-masnid põdrakasvatajad

The event was cancelled due to the spread of measles among the indigenous peoples. Outbreaks have now been found in a number of places, such as in multi-storey houses in Surgut. However, no vaccine is available: in the past, it was obtained from a US pharmaceutical company that has since left the Russian market.

Aleksandr Shukhardin, head of the department of natural resources use and cooperation with indigenous peoples of the Surgut rayon administration, said: ‘Unfortunately, such a situation has arisen and we have to cancel the event. The health of the residents is our priority.’

However, a way to organise the meeting in the autumn is being planned and searched for.