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Monday, March 27, 2023

Government expresses concern over measles outbreak

Worried by the steady increase in reported cases of outbreak of measles, the Federal Government has rolled out its 2017 Measles Campaign. Reported cases of the ailment rose from 166 (affecting 140 local governments areas – LGAs) in 2015 to 183 (affecting 158 LGAs).

Dr. Faisal Shuaib
Dr. Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency

Executive Secretary, Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Faisal Shuaib, made the revelation recently in Abuja while addressing journalists on the programme of events of the planned Campaign on Measles.

He commended the Federal Government for promptly releasing N3 billion to support the measles campaign, which will commence in October.

According to him, “Persistently, low routine measles follow up Subnational Immunisation Activities (SIA) coverage in 2013 (74%) and 2015 (84.5%) have resulted in a population immunity profile that has allowed increased transmission of the measles virus among children of about 10 years of age, resulting in morbidity and mortality. Movement of internally displaced people from recently liberated security threatened areas is also likely to have caused increased susceptibility and exposure among local populations.

“Case-based measles surveillance that has satisfied key surveillance performance indicators since 2012 indicators that measles virus transmission is extensive throughout the country, with increasing number of cases, outbreaks and increasing numbers of Local Governments Areas. These outbreaks occur in spite of the 2015 measles follow up campaigns. Aproximately 2.4% of all children with laboratory confirmed cases of measles die, likely precipitated by malnutrituion and or vitamin A deficiency.

“Vaccination status among confirmed cases indicates that majority of cases have never been vaccinated with measles vaccine, consistent with inadequate levels of immunisation coverage.

“The number of outbreaks has increased from 166 affecting 140 local governments areas to 183 affecting 158 local governemnt areas in 2015 and 2016 respectively. Survellance data shows that there was a steady increase in measles incidence among children under 5 years in the North from 190/ million in 2014 to 527/ million in 2016.

“The trend of proportion of measles cases among children aged five and 10 years in the North has been rising steadily since 2014, cumulatively in 79.4% and 19.1% respectively in 2016. In the Southern states, though the incidence decreased from 111/ million in 2014, to 11/ million in 2016., the incidence rate is still above the desired less than 5 per million populations.

“It is also note worthy that the proportion of measles cases among the under 5 is 59.4% and 5-10 years is 18.7%.”

He said the 2017\2018 measles Vaccination Campaign would focus on children ages nine months to 59 months and it would be implemented in phases from October 2017 to March 2018,  and that 95% national coverage is expected.

The NPHCDA boss added that 22 states and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) are yet to approve the campaign. He listed the states to include: Katsina, So‎koto, Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Taraba, Yobe, Plateau, Bayelsa,Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Ondo, Oyo, Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Lagos, Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu. He added however that Kaduna, Zamfara and Jigawa states have approved but yet to release their counterpart funding.

Kano State is said to have only released N9 million out of N66 million, the remaining balance is expected to be paid by the local governments councils. Kebbi, Borno, Nassarawa and Imo states have released their counterpart funding.

Shuaib therefore said all the states that d‎o not release it counterpart funding by 15 of September, 2017 would not participate in the vaccination campaign.

By Laide Oriere 

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