The Ministry of Health has launched the Measles campaign across the country targeting 95% coverage of the exercise. Both local and International partners who attended the program were enthusiastic about the process promising a collaborating effort to meet the target.
On behalf of his colleagues, Montserrado County Representative Saah Joseph underscored the needs for consolidated collaboration to drive the measles out of the country. He lamented that two persons have already died from the disease in recent times. He said the vaccine committees would be minored on a regular basis. For his part, a representative of UNICEF Suleiman Braimoh disclosed that the process is targeting more than 700 children for now. He said in 2013 Liberia had 75% coverage, which dropped to 60% as a result of the EBOLA and that there is a need to do more community engagement.
WHO Country Representative to Liberia, Dr. Alex Gassarira who represented the World Health Organization expressed thanks and appreciation to all donor organizations helping Liberia overcomes its problems. He called on the partners to work hard to achieve the 95% garget in the nearby future.
The Deputy Minister of Health Services/ Chief Medical Officer R.L, Dr. Francis Kateh, called on parents/guidance, religious leaders, traditional leaders, Civil Society Organization (CSOs), community leaders, and the legislators to support the Measles Campaign by ensuring that every child from 6-59 months is protected against measles. Hesaid, “The best way to prevent measles from spreading in the community is to ensure that children in these age range get the measles vaccine to be protected and stay healthy. When our children are healthy, we will have a vibrant and sustainablenation”.
Measles is one of the leading causes of deaths among children under 5 years. The disease as compared to other preventable ones is particularly contagious and associated with significant mortality. The month long Measles followed-up Campaign is funded by GAVI with support from the World Health Organization (WHO) and UNICEF. The ministry of health and partners hoped that the pending campaign will help to bring to an end the transmission or spread of the Measles among the children of Liberia.
The campaign which is a followed-up on children missed out during the last routine measles vaccination Campaign in 2015, will be held in three (3) Phases. This second phase of the Nation Wide Measles Campaign which targets children from 6month to 59 months will be held in five (5) Counties, including; Nimba, Bong, Lofa, Margibi and Grand Bassa.
The last and final phase of the Followed-up Measles Campaign runs from March 13-19 in counties including: River Gee, River cess, Sinoe, Grand Kru, Maryland, Gbarpolu, Cape Mount, Bomi and Grand Gedeh respectively, targeting children of the same age range 59months.