The country presently has continued to witness outbreak especially in the northern part of the country; a development the minister of state for Health, Dr Muhammad Ali Pate, blamed on the refusal of parents to immunize their children.
According to reports, over 100 deaths have been recorded so far in the epidemic prone states of Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Kano, Niger, Anambra and Jigawa.
Pate said the pocket of cases recorded in some states could have been avoided if parents had availed their children of the free vaccination provided by the federal government.
According to him, those who sent out messages discouraging parents from availing their children should be asked to explain why there are cases of measles in some states.
His words, “ the measles outbreak is a direct consequence of parents’ refusal to immunize their children. Measles is a disease which is 99% preventable.
“We also have effective vaccines, freely being distributed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to states. At this time, we should ask those discouraging parents from immunizing their children to explain themselves”.
He, however, said that the outbreak witnessed in some states cannot be described as an epidemic but rather, pockets of cases which cannot all be called measles until it is confirmed in a laboratory.
Meanwhile, the NPHCDA boss added that a team of health workers were conducting surveillance and some investigations to ensure that the outbreak is contained appropriately.
He also lamented that these outbreaks could have been averted if those mischief makers had not sent out messages to parents discouraging them from vaccinating their children, stressing that the reason why states are recording cases of measles is because there are problems with the routine immunization which is not as effective as it is supposed to be.
Ado said the federal government made available to states, the total requirements for vaccines for routine immunization, adding that what the states are requesting is additional doses to combat the outbreak they are recording.
His words, “we are on top of the situation. As I am speaking to you, we are already conducting mob –up exercises in those states that are affected, and the surrounding areas to contain the outbreak.
“What we are experiencing is the down side of the ineffective measles campaign conducted in 2011, and the states affected now recorded low quality campaigns.”