By; OLADELE ADEDAYO, Ado-Ekiti
The World Health Organisation(WHO),has tasked nations in the World to take decisive medical actions against measles describing the disease as one of the greatest killers of children across the globe.
The WHO coordinator in Ekiti, Dr Olufunmilola Kolude,lamented that the scourge was killing children despite the availability of vaccine across the world, saying the situation prompted the introduction of the Measles containing Vaccine two(MVC2), to be administered to children between post natal ages of 15 and 23 months .
The WHO Coordinator said this in Ado- Ekiti on Thursday when Ekiti State First Lady, Erelu Bisi Fayemi flagged off measles containing Vaccine 2 into routine immunisation in the state capital.
The medical Programme christened ‘Measles Containing Vaccine 2’, was introduced by WHO in partnership with United Nations Children Endowment Fund(,UNICEF) and African Field Epidemiology Network(AFENET).
The WHO expert said : ” Measles is a highly contagious viral disease and an important cause of death among young children globally . Several cases have been reported recently across Nigeria, especially in Oyo, Lagos and and Ogun this year, but Ekiti didn’t experience it because of the success of 2018 immunisation programme.
“Ekiti has not recorded any outbreak this year and this could be attributed to the success of measles vaccination of 2018. In 2019, out of 577 suspected cases, only 15 were positive and only three were below age five years. Also in 2018, out of 584 suspected cases, only five were positive and only one was below 5 years.
“The introduction of this second dose was occasioned by the fact that not all children received the first dose at after nine months. This will also reboost the first dose and increase the coverage by 95 per cent”.
Mrs. Fayemi disclosed that about 17,000 cases measles victims are reported annually in Nigeria, with high incidence observed during the dry season.
“Measles affects all sexes and ages but could be more dangerous in children .
For some children, measles can lead to pneumonia, which is a serious lung infection, life long brain damage, deafness and possible death among mostly children below 5.
“Though, measles vaccine is administered to children at nine months, but it has been observed that such children can still be infected, because they have not received immunity at the shot of the first dose. The best way to prevent this is to give our children measles containing Vaccine 2, which is safe and free”, she said.
The Chairman, Ekiti State Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Mrs Mojisola Oloro, said the programme is pivotal to bring healthcare delivery to the doorsetps of the people.
“Measles is one of the infectious diseases that kill children across the globe. There will be intensive routine vaccine across the 16 councils to vaccinate our children between ages 15 and 23 months. This will take place in our health centers in the 177 wards.
“Ekiti was included among the 17 benefiting states in the programme, because of the effective coverage recorded in 2018 immunisation”.