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Measles reported in Rivers kills children

By Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
10 August 2022   |   4:05 am
Some children have reportedly died following a measles outbreak in Kugbo Clan of Abua/Odual Local Council of Rivers State.

Some children have reportedly died following a measles outbreak in Kugbo Clan of Abua/Odual Local Council of Rivers State.

Some sources said the disease was first reported in Amurouttoru-Kugbo Community and spread to Emago-Kugbo and Akani-Kugbo communities, leading to the death of several children.

The Chairman, Emago Kugbo Community Development Committee (CDC), Levi Marcus, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, said 20 children died.

“Measles is ravaging Okugbo Clan; that is to say, Emakgbo, Akani and Akpotu. In Akani-Okugbo, from what we witnessed, 20 children have died. Then again, if you go to Amuruotoru, we also have the same situation. We have up to 15 recorded cases.

“We have tried our best to reach the government, but they (government) have not responded,” he said.

Executive Director of Mother, Baby and Adolescent Global Health Foundation, Dr. Eli Sokarimie, blamed lack of surveillance, failure to immunise babies, and lack of sensitisation for the outbreak of measles in the area.

Rivers had the lowest prevalence of measles infection of 11 per 100,000 cases.

MEANWHILE, the state’s chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has condemned the “continued neglect of serious measles outbreak” in Abua-Odual.

In a statement, yesterday, the Publicity Secretary, Chris Finebone, alleged that the outbreak was as a result of neglect and lack of surveillance by government public health officials, failure by the government to immunise babies, and lack of sensitisation of the local population.

He said the children’s death would have been avoided, had the state government done the needful.

“However, while Governor Wike was busy vain-glorifying himself during the so-called commissioning of the 7th overhead bridge in Port Harcourt, elsewhere in Abua-Odual, distraught and grief-stricken parents were busy burying their children killed by measles.

“It beats the imagination of descent minds that same Abua-Odual Local Government Area belongs to the axis where yearly floods ravage without end and the governor never cares,” he added.

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