Northeast Nigeria’s Measles Outbreak Claims Lives of Over 42

In Nigeria’s northeastern state of Adamawa, a measles outbreak has claimed the lives of at least 42 individuals in just over a week, according to the state’s health commissioner, Felix Tangwami. The outbreak has predominantly affected two local government areas, with nearly 200 suspected cases identified. Tangwami has confirmed that vaccination efforts are underway in these areas, to contain the situation. Measles, a highly contagious airborne virus, primarily targets children under the age of five and can be prevented through the administration of two vaccine doses. Despite substantial global progress in measles prevention, challenges persist in Nigeria, exacerbated by ongoing security concerns and the disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizations such as Doctors Without Borders have highlighted Nigeria’s difficulties in achieving vaccination targets. These challenges have led to a worrying increase in measles cases over the past year. Rapid transmission among unvaccinated children underscores the critical importance of vaccination campaigns in affected regions. Security issues, including those caused by groups like Boko Haram and criminal gangs, have further complicated vaccination efforts in northern Nigerian states. The COVID-19 pandemic has also strained the country’s health system and disrupted vaccination programs.

Efforts by health organizations like Doctors Without Borders have been crucial in addressing the outbreak, with a focus on treating patients and raising awareness about the importance of vaccination. However, ongoing challenges highlight the need for sustained efforts to ensure widespread vaccination coverage and effectively combat measles outbreaks in Nigeria.

About Geraldine Boechat 2707 Articles
Senior Editor for Medafrica Times and former journalist for Swiss National Television. former NGO team leader in Burundi and Somalia