From Ahmed Kaigama Bauchi
Bauchi state has recorded 507 suspected cases of the deadly measles from January to October, 2017, the State Immunization Officer (SIO), Mr Ahmed Bakoji, disclosed yesterday.
This is even as he said that the state is targeting 1,576 million children for 2017 measles Immunization campaign.
Bakoji while speaking at the sensitisation meeting with the media and MDA’s, said1.576 million children between the ages of 9 to 59 months old are expected to be immunised across the 20 local government areas of the state against the deadly disease in the 2017 campaign.
Bakoji,said the meeting was part of preparation for the 2017 Measles vaccination Campaign organized by Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA).
He said: “Our plan is to meet the target that is why we meeting with you people (the media) to sensitize you so that you can go and meet the people in the whole entire community to explain to them the importance of this measles campaign”
He said that it was important for every care giver to allow his child to be vaccinated against the deadly disease to stop rampant cases and reduce infant and under five mortality rates in the state.
“Since it is a preventable disease case, so it is important for each and every person in the community to participate, accept to take his own child where the vaccination post is located”, adding that the vaccination posts are located within accessible areas of the communities.
Bakoji said the meeting is to equip them with the necessary information about the campaign to ensure mass participation of parents and care givers.
He solicited for media support towards the success of the two phases of its Measles Vaccination Campaign, slated for November 30 to December 5, and December 7 to December 12, 2017 respectively.
A consultant with World Health Organization (WHO) Dr Bezu Beshir, in his presentation said that out of the 507 suspected cases reported, 56 cases were positive while 162 specimens were collected.
He said the state had outbreak of measles disease in 12 Local Government in the state in the year under review while eight Local Government Areas did not record any outbreak.
Beshir said the Local Governments that did not record any case of measles outbreak are Bogoro, Dass, Katagum, Kirfi, Shira, Ningi, Tafawa Balewa and Toro while Gamawa, Ganjuwa, Itas Gadau , Giade, Misau, Kirfi, Shira, Ningi, Tafawabalewa and Toro recorded outbreak.
Beshir said 95 percent of all children between ages of 9-59 months is expected to be immunise at national level at this year measles campaign.
Dr Bezu said Bauchi, like other states, is expected to achieve 97 percent and Local Government is to cover 98 percent and 100 percent is expected to be achieve at ward level.
He said measles diseases is one of the most contagious diseases which can be prevented by ensuring that all children are immunized, adding that measles affects all age group especially children under the age of five.
The WHO Consultant explained that measles occurs in children between 2-5 years interval and the vaccination is key the intervention to reduce measles outbreak.