Yesterday, January 13th, the Nigeria started a two-week mass vaccination campaign to help protect children against measles outbreaks. This campaign is taking place in three Nigerian states-- Borno, Yobe and Adamawa--and they are meant to target 4 million children between the ages of 6 months and 10 years. This campaign is being supported by the WHO, UNICEF, the United States CDC and a couple other health nongovernmental organizations.
One of the benefits for this campaign is that the previously established polio vaccination program has given the government and all organizations involves a guide to targeting measles as well as educated individuals with experience in providing health services. However, the shortage of healthcare facilities, the warm temperature, and difficult terrain within these states will prove to be barriers for the vaccination campaign. The team will also be distributing vaccination cards in order to prevent double vaccinations.
This campaign can be very important to transforming Borno’s health because as of last month, 77% of children under 5 had never received the measles vaccine. These statistics are worsened when one considers that malnutrition levels reach close to 20% in certain areas of the states, which makes them even more vulnerable to not only measles, but also malaria and respiratory infections.
Hopefully the campaign is a success and the measles occurrence decreases greatly within these states and helps encourage other states and countries to similarly increase their measles vaccine coverage.
WHO announcement: http://www.who.int/features/2017/measles-vaccination-nigeria/en/