Thought Leadership

How THISDAY reported the measles outbreak in Zaria

2 Mins read

Sometimes it is difficult to gauge the media coverage of events in Nigeria, so I was happy to receive a copy of the Thisday newspaper from a reader of this blog showing us the 3 pages of in depth coverage given to yet another tragic measles outbreak. KUDOS TO THISDAY.

Just maybe….someone …somewhere will answer the question….

Why is it still alright for children to die from a Measles, a disease that can be prevented with a vaccine that costs less than a bottle of coke in NIGERIA?…

Imagine if this child is yours…

Now read the rest and be shocked. Measles is known to most medics as one of the easiest diseases to diagnose clinically. I.e. any nurse/doctor can identify a case of measles from its distinctive rash….especially in an endemic country like ours. But guess what Kano’s Commissioner of health did when the outbreak was reported…

He went on a “fact finding tour”….!

….when asked about what can be done in the future to prevent future outbreaks….he pointed to improved reporting systems…OK Yes..its important…but what about vaccinating the children???

This can hardly help the 200 kids that have died….and if you expected to read a bit of remorse here…you’ll have to look elsewhere…

…Thisday ended its 3-page coverage with 2 interviews…Great stuff apart from a plethora of factual inaccuracies. I am not sure this is a misinterpretation of information given …or wrong information given…These are highlighted here as consequences of wrong information in health issues can be deadly…

Dr Elijah Kehinde of Gambo Sawaba General Hospital Zaria is reported to say…

1. Measles is age specific. Wrong Any susceptible individual can be infected by the measles virus, but the risk of an adverse outcome such as death is higher in children.

2. The first sign the health worker should look for is redness of the eyes…what we call cophlix spots. Wrong…yes readness of the eyes should be looked for…this is called conjunctivitis, Koplik spots are small, white spots (often on a reddened background) that occur on the inside of the cheeks early in the course of measles.

3. Every child is supposed to undergo vaccination at 3 months. Wrong For measles..the schedule in Nigeria is measles at 9 months, but can be given from 6 months in outbreak situations.

…read on..

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

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