Measles vac­cine cam­paign tar­gets 33m chil­dren

Daily Trust - - NEWS - Judd-Leonard Okafor

Health work­ers are to vac­ci­nate at least 33 mil­lion chil­dren aged be­tween nine months and five years against measles in a cam­paign start­ing this Oc­to­ber, the Na­tional Pri­mary Health Care De­vel­op­ment Agency (NPHCDA) has said.

The push is to en­sure nearly 95% out of ev­ery 100 chil­dren are vac­ci­nated. Pre­vi­ous cam­paign in 2015 man­aged to reach just 85 in 100 chil­dren.

The agency says there has been up­surge in out­breaks of measles since then, with 183 out­breaks recorded in 2016, up from 166 in 2015.

This year alone, up to 16,343 cases of measles have been recorded and 108 con­firmed in lab­o­ra­tory test­ing across 717 coun­cil ar­eas-mean­ing nearly ev­ery lo­cal gov­ern­ment area has had a case of measles, ac­cord­ing to Joseph Oteri, chair of a com­mit­tee on measles vac­ci­na­tion at NPHCDA.

The cam­paign’s first phase be­gins Oc­to­ber 26 in north­west­ern statesJi­gawa, Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zam­fara. It moves to the north east on Novem­ber 30, north cen­tral Fe­bru­ary 1 next year and then all south­ern states on March 8.

While the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment has re­leased its coun­ter­part N3.5 bil­lion to fund the cam­paign, only four states have so far paid theirs.

NPHCDA, the fed­eral health min­istry and de­vel­op­ment have agreed to shut out any state that fails to send in its part fund­ing by Septem­ber 15.

Photo: Ikechukwu Ibe

From left: Di­rec­tor Ad­vo­cate and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, NPHCDA, Dr. Eugene Ovihi-Ivase; ED/CEO NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib; and Na­tional Measles Tech­ni­cal Co­or­di­nat­ing Com­mit­tee Head, Dr. Joseph Oteri, dur­ing a one-day Media Ori­en­ta­tion Fo­rum for the 2017/2018 Measles Vac­ci­na­tion Cam­paign in Abuja yes­ter­day

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