Cameroon launches Measles and Rubella vaccination campaigns to curb outbreaks

The free of charge campaigns to run from December 4 to 8, 2019, targets 189 health districts nationwide.

Following the recent outbreaks in some regions of Cameroon notably the Far North where 14 cases of deaths were registered due to rubella, the government launches a 5 day intensive nationwide vaccination campaign.

The campaign that gives root to the introduction of the second dose of vaccine against rubella and measles for children aged from 9 to 59 months will equally permit the administration of vitamin A and deworming with Mebendazole of children aged between 0 and 5 years.

In a media briefing session held at the offices of the Expanded Programme on Immunization in the ministry of public health, it was disclosed that about 3.278 416 children will be administered vaccins during these mass campaigns.

Government seeks to curb the rising outbreaks by informing in the first place, at least 95% of the population in the ten regions and to obtain the commitment and involvement of at least 80% of administrative, political, religious, traditional authorities who are in touch daily with their various communities.

The number of deaths from measles in the world is estimated at 89.780 people, mostly under the age of 5. 246 deaths every day and 10 deaths every hour with regards to statistics from 2016.

Deaths that occur are often as a result of epidemics as it is the case in Cameroon where between 2016 and September 2019, the number of health districts affected by measles epidemics increased from 7 to 34.

In Cameroon, between 2000 and 2017, the number of deaths of children under 5 attacked by measles decreased from 5208 to 146 thanks to vaccination. It helped to reduce child deaths by 97%.

According to health experts, measles is a highly contagious infectious diseases caused by a virus. Its manifestations are fever followed by the appearance of small rashes on the body, and often accompanied with runny nose, cough and discharging reddish eyes. The virus is easily transmitted from one person to another through sputum from coughing and sneezing, hands and materials soiled with secretions from the nostrils and throat of a sick person. Same for rubella which is also a contagious and dangerous disease, especially during pregnancy. Rubella  could be responsible for many spontaneous abortions or sever malformations to the future baby. It equally causes skin eruption, lymph node swollen and joint pain. It usually goes unnoticed but could be responsible for abortions, foetal death and serious malformation of newborn babies.


By Elise Kenimbeni


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