Nigeria launches yellow fever vaccination campaign to contain disease
London, Sep 8, 2019 (AltAfrica)-The Nigerian government has begun a yellow fever reactive vaccination campaign in three states to contain an outbreak of the disease in Ebonyi State in August.
In a statement issued via its site on Saturday, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said the vaccination exercise will run for 10 days, from September 7 to 16, in three local government areas in Ebonyi, two LGAs in Benue and one LGA in Cross River.
WHO said the campaign’s target is to vaccinate 1.6 million people (aged 9 months to 44 years old).
“The campaign will use 1,802,044 vaccine doses provided by the International Coordination Group (ICG) on Vaccine Provision, funded by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance,” it said.
WHO Nigeria, Officer in Charge, Clement Peter, said the campaign will be a crucial activity to stop the spread of the outbreak and ensure that all people at the highest risk are safe.
“We encourage all eligible persons in the target LGAs to come forward and get vaccinated,” he said.
The Director, Disease Control and Immunisation at the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Joseph Oteri, implored people to protect themselves and their families by taking advantage of vaccination.
“Reducing exposure to mosquitoes, including the use of insect repellent to avoid bites both during the day and at night and removing potential breeding sites such as standing water containers are also effective,” Mr Oteri said.
The vaccination campaign is being carried out in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and other development partners in Benue, Cross River and Ebonyi states.
Yellow fever, which is vaccine-preventable, was on the verge of being eliminated in Nigeria until cases of the disease were reported in Kwara State in 2017.
Since then, there have been many reported cases, the most recent notification being from Bauchi and Borno states.
The deadly disease is being transmitted by infected mosquitoes. It can not be transmitted from humans to humans.
The “yellow” in the name refers to jaundice that affects some patients.
Symptoms of yellow fever include fever, headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
Vaccination is the most important means of preventing yellow fever.
WHO recommends that pre-emptive vaccination campaigns be carried out in neighbouring areas not directly affected by a yellow fever outbreak but face heightened risk and vulnerability.
Out of the 3,295 samples collected and tested, 185 were presumed positive and sent to the Institute Pasteur (IP) Dakar for further analysis.
According to NCDC, 78 positive cases from 14 states (Kwara, Kogi, Kano, Zamfara, Kebbi, Nasarawa, Niger, Katsina, Edo, Ekiti, Rivers, Anambra, FCT, and Benue states) were confirmed at IP, Dakar.