An outbreak of measles and whopping cough in Sule-Tankarkar Local Government Area of Jigawa State have left six children under the ages of five dead while over 249 were confirmed to be infected.
The Sule-Tankarkar LGA, head of department for water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) department, Mohammed Maisamari, who confirmed the outbreak, said the report of the outbreak was received by the council on March 1.
He said Maizare community was worse hit and that all the deaths were recorded in the community but added that health officials were making efforts to curtail further spread of the disease.
Mr. Mohammed also said the council had mobilized a team of health workers to the affected communities to treat all the children who had contracted either of the diseases, adding that the council would intensify health education campaign to enlighten the rural dwellers on the need to embrace immunization.
He said 249 children, who were infected by the diseases, had been treated.
Earlier in January an outbreak of the disease was recorded in Sabo area of Ibadan, Oyo State, which left five persons dead. Similarly In February 2015, 17 cases of measles outbreak was also recorded in Adamawa State, although no death was recorded as health officials were able to contain its further spread.
In 2012, Katsina state witnessed a dangerous outbreak of the disease. The outbreak, which began in December 2012 in the southern part of the state during the dry season, gradually spread to all the 34 provinces.
The outbreak lasted 28 weeks, during which about 36,428 cases were reported and 198 people reportedly died. The number of death cases recorded was due to the shortage of measles vaccines in Nigeria. Initially only 10 percent of the vaccines required to conduct a mass vaccination campaign were allocated to Katsina State.
According to United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, UNICEF, Measles deaths worldwide fell by 74% between 2000 and 2007, from an estimated 750 000 to 197 000. The African region was the largest contributor to the global decline in measles deaths, accounting for about 63% of the reduction in deaths worldwide over the eight-year period.
In 2007, measles outbreaks occurred in a number of African countries due to gaps in immunization coverage, reinforcing the need to continue immunization support.