WHO Starts Measles Vaccination in North-Eastern Nigeria Today
A mass vaccination campaign to protect more than 4 million (4, 766, 214) children against a measles outbreak in conflict-affected states in north-eastern Nigeria is expected to start this week, the World Health Organisation has said.
The campaign which starts today, January 13, will target all children between the ages of 6 months and 10 years in Borno, Yobe and Adamawa States.
“This measles vaccination campaign is an emergency intervention to protect more than 4 million children against a highly contagious and sometimes deadly disease,” WHO Representative to Nigeria Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu said.
He also indicated that the disruption to health facilities in the affected areas has resulted in children not getting access to essential vaccinations.
“Massive disruption to health services in conflict-affected areas for many years has deprived these children of essential childhood vaccinations. Ina addition, many of them have severe malnutrition, making them extremely vulnerable to serious complications and death from measles,” he added.
The vaccination teams for this for the campaign is expected to be seven people which will include a supervisor, vaccinators, record keepers, community mobilisers and town criers. It is also reported that the teams will give children deworming medications and vitamin A supplements at the same time.
The United Nations institution also hinted that “the humanitarian crisis caused by conflict in Borno State has resulted in more than 1.4 million internally displaced people (IDP) living in more than 100 camps, amongst a host population of about 4.3 million people.”
WHO noted that measles vaccination prevented the death of 20.3 million people from 2000 to 2015, making it widely patronised.
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