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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Over 800,000 children to be vaccinated against Measles

NGETCELL-Health The Gambia) The Ministry of Health and Social Welfare through its Expanded Immunization Programme, will conduct a massive vaccination campaign against Measles and Rubella from April 25th to May 1st, targeting 802, 245 children,'' officials announced yesterday.
According to Modou Njie, director of Health Promotion and Education who was speaking at a news briefing Tuesday,   the exercise which targets children between 9 months and 14 years, will be conducted alongside a Vitamin A deficiency and worm infestation for children aged  6 months to 5 years.

 Mr Nije further revealed that campaign is supported by UNICEF, National Nutrition Agency and Gamcel. He called on all Gambian parents to make sure that they have their children who fall in the age group specified to have the injections.
Measles is a viral disease for which humans are the only reservoir. Transmission is primarily person to person via aerosol droplets, and the average incubation for measles is 10 to 12 days with a range of 7 to 18 days, whereas, Rubella, also called German measles is caused by Rubella virus. The disease is so similar to measles. Like measles, humans are the only reservoir.
Dawda Sowe, Manager of the Expanded Immunization Programme, said according to data, a total of 135 suspected measles cases were identified in 2013.
In the same report, a total of 93 suspected measles cases were identified in 2012 out of which 39 (42%) were Rubella IgM positive and none for measles and a total of 114 suspected measles cases were identified in 2011 of which 42 (37%) were Rubella IgM Positive and none for measles respectively.
In this regards, he added, with the presence of Rubella as showed in surveillance data, the Government of the Gambia deemed it fitting to conduct a Measles and Rubella campaign together using vaccine.
“The vaccination strategies,are: fix post, where the vaccination team will be permanently stationed in health facilities where immunisation will be provided during the seven days period. There will also be a mobile post where the team will be moving out to reach the communities through various places like Schools, Bantabas, churches, mosques, market places, transit points and others,” he said.

Abdoulie Nget

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