Measles vaccine campaign targets 33m children
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.
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