A World Health Organisation, cluster consultant in Gombe State, Raymond Dankoli, has said the state recorded15 deaths out of a total of 864 suspected cases of measles from January this year till date.
Mr. Dankoli disclosed this during a meeting with journalists on Thursday in Gombe. The meeting was organised by the Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency as part of a sensitisation campaign ahead of the 2017 Measles Campaign Vaccination scheduled for November 30 to December 15.
He said that the state recorded the outbreak across seven local government areas with Gombe Local Government Area having the highest number of cases pegged at 107.
“Unlike similar exercises held in 2015 which failed to record the desired outcome, the agency having learned from the past, is poised to conduct a successful exercise this time around with a view to attaining 95 per cent coverage”, he said.
Mr. Dankoli added that already, the agency has taken proactive steps in response to the disease outbreak by making available drugs for treating the disease, with trained staff carrying out surveillance activities.
The consultant said this year’s vaccination exercise will target children from nine to 59 months, adding that every child is expected to receive treatment irrespective of the child’s immunisation status.
Also speaking, the deputy director, immunisation, Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Musa Kuna, said that following the poor turnout during the last measles vaccination exercise in 2015, the agency ”has pursued aggressively an advocacy and dialogue to find out why communities are refusing vaccination.”
Mr. Kuna urged parents to retain vaccination cards to be issued during the exercise which would be used for the purpose of surveys.