Thought Leadership

Sad – Yet another Measles outbreak

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How many children will have to die from measles in Nigeria?

Avid readers of this blog will know that the occurrence of measles outbreaks in Nigeria causes us particular pain.
Early in our existence, we blogged about an outbreak in Borno in June, with a reported 60 deaths. In October, we asked why children continue to die from a disease that can be prevented with 50 cents!…Prof. Professor Idris Mohammed, a one time Chairman of the Board of Management of National Programme for Immunisation (NPI), described it as a conduit pipe for diverting immunisation funds to private accounts of a few people on an unbelievably massive scale…in his recently published book “Academics, Epidemics and Politics: An Eventful Career in Public Health

This month…yet another outbreak is reported in Kano with 200 deaths!

As usual…this was widely reported by the press, by Reuters, VOA as well as expert sites like the highly regarded of the most important sources of infectious disease news globally.

A colleague asked …How many children will have to die in Nigeria?

There are many health problems that are difficult to prevent (e.g Cancers)…and some even more difficult to treat (e.g. AIDS)….

…but here we have an illness that we can prevent by giving our children a vaccination that costs less than a bottle of coca cola and free to the patient in most cases.

When asked how they’ll respond…Mahmud Mustapha, director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency in charge of seven north-western states…is quoted to say … the agency plans to do house-to-house vaccinations in January 2008.

Dear Sir…vaccination campaigns will help…but they will not solve the problem. Until we build a routine vaccination programme that works, in which people have the confidence to bring their children to…we will keep having outbreaks of measles…children will keep dying…and I will have no answer for my collagues to the question…How many children will have to die in Nigeria?

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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