By Dipo Olowookere
The Nigerian government has launched a campaign to immunize 873,837 people against yellow fever in Kwara and Kogi States.
The campaign, which lasts 10 days and is in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), commenced on Friday, October 13, 2017, and targets residents aged 9 months to 45 years old.
It was gathered that more than 200 health workers and volunteers have been mobilised for the exercise.
Commenting on the development, representative in Nigeria, Dr Wondimagegnehu Alemu, noted that, “This campaign aims to ensure that people living in high-risk areas are protected from yellow fever, and to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the country.”
WHO has been working with health authorities on its implementation in nine local government areas in Kwara State and two LGAs in Kogi State.
Nigeria has requested support from the International Coordination Group (ICG) on vaccine provision for yellow fever.
A global stockpile of 6 million doses of the yellow fever vaccine is available for countries to access, with the support of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
WHO and health partners have been supporting the Government’s response to the outbreak since the first case of yellow fever was confirmed in Oke Owa Community, Ifelodun Local Government Area of Kwara state on 12 September.
WHO has deployed experts to Nigeria to support surveillance and investigation, lab testing, public health measures, and engagement with at-risk communities. An Emergency Operations Centre has been activated in the area to coordinate the response.
The last yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria was reported in 2002, with 20 cases and 11 deaths.
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