As Nigeria prepares to eradicate measles in the country, November 21 to 25 has been set aside to vaccinate children from 9 to 59 months across the 19 northern states in order to immunize them against the disease.
This is as Nigeria’s partners and donor agencies are worried over the disease because of its prevalence in all the states of the federation.
This concern was raised by the United Nations Children’s Education Fund’s (UNICEF) representative, Hajia Amina Yahaya, during a sensitization meeting with journalists in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital, organized by the Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KWPHCDA) on the preparation for the measles campaign in the 19 northern states late this month.
“Measles is one of the six childhood killer diseases in the world. In 2013, 145,700 deaths were recorded globally, with 400 deaths every day and16 deaths every hour.
Measles vaccination resulted in a 75 per cent drop in measles deaths between 2000 and 2013.
Nigeria has not been able to reach its mark in measles campaign. Twenty out of 100 children in Nigeria are not vaccinated.
There is the warning that there may be an outbreak of measles if the campaign didn’t hold, with the rate of measles in the country.
The Kwara State Coordinator of the World Health Organisation, Dr. Ibrahim Idris, said the campaign is targeted at keeping measles to a very low level.
The KWPHCDA, represented by Mrs.Falilat Ibrahim, said it had been holding series of meetings with people like council chairmen, heads of social group and traditional rulers, but felt the exercise won’t be completed without meeting with journalists for proper information dissemination.