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WHO begins measles transmission scheme for 200,000 children in Borno State

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) yesterday commenced “measles interruption transmission” for 200, 000 children in Borno State.

WHO Country Representative, Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu disclosed this in a statement in Maiduguri.

He said the move, which included technical and financial support to health authorities, is aimed at boosting the immunity of children against measles disease.

He gave the focus of the intervention as the nine newly liberated areas by the military.

“The four-day exercise is targeted at 200, 000 children from the age of six months to 15 years.

According to him, the nine-targeted councils are Magumeri, Nganzai and Damboa, where suspected outbreaks of measles were reported in April 2018.

Others are Bama, Dikwa, Gwoza, Kukawa, Kala Balge and Ngala, where a large numbers of children who have not been vaccinated since 2014 are resettling.”

The country representative further disclosed that WHO had trained and deployed 219 vaccination teams for the delivering of potent measles vaccines to relevant children in the councils.

“This measles vaccination exercise was to stop transmission and strengthen resistance to the spread of the disease among the
population of un-vaccinated newly liberated children,” Alemu added.

He disclosed that 61 deaths were recorded, and more than 350 children infected last April in
Magumeri, Nganzai and Damboa council areas.

He also revealed that more than two-thirds of health facilities had been destroyed, or partially functional, leading to children being increasingly vulnerable to infectious diseases like measles, malaria, respiratory infections and diarrhea.

“The combination of malnutrition, malaria and measles have increased child deaths four times higher than what is considered the emergency
threshold,” he warned.

In 2015, over 134, 000 children died of measles globally, with most of them below the age of five.

Also, WHO has deployed 39 health personnel in Adamawa State to tackle further spread of cholera, which had claimed 13 lives in two council areas.

Alemu announced the deployment yesterday in a statement in Maiduguri.

He said the urgent deployment, was preparatory to engaging 15 additional ad-hoc personnel to Mubi North and South local government areas of the state.

He said the deployment is alsdo to ensure that the outbreak does not spread to other neighbouring areas including the Cameroonian
border of Sahuda.

According to him, 434 suspected cases were reported On May 26, 2018, with13 deaths in the affected council areas.

The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fatima Atiku Abubakar said the health authority was collaborating with WHO and other partners to ensure that the outbreak does not spread further.


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