By Asma’u Ahmad
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said 147 cases of measles have been recorded in Kwara state between January and August, this year. The WHO’s measles Focal Person for Kwara, Dr Wole Adaramola, disclosed this during a Level Training of Trainers on Measles Microplan on Tuesday in Ilorin.
He said: “Between the months of January and August 2017, the state recorded 147 cases of measles across the 16 local government areas of the state. Kwara recorded a coverage of 76.4 per cent out of 95 percent which is the expected national coverage. “Our target is to reach about 95 per cent coverage of children across Kwara.”
According to him, measles, which is one of the six childhood killer diseases, is a highly contagious viral disease that kills nearly 800,000 children globally, every year.
He said that there was preparation of a micro plan as first stage in the process of measles campaign with partnership from stakeholders, including Kwara State Primary Health Care and Development Agency (KWSPHCDA), UNICEF and WHO.
The Executive Secretary of the KSPHCDA, Dr Abimbola Olorunfunso, said the campaign was initially organised every four years across the country. According to her, due to the sporadic outbreak of the disease, there is need for frequency in vaccinating children below the ages of five.
“Measles vaccine has impact in protecting and boosting immunity in children. Death from measles can be prevented and immunisation is one of the most cost-effective interventions available.
“One of the primary reasons for the high mortality resulting from measles is the under-utilisation of measles vaccine. I urge parents to avail themselves of the services offered in health facilities and ensure that their children are immunised,” Olorunfunso said.