Association calls for action to stop Kaduna measles outbreak

Gloria Essien, Abuja

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The Association of Nigeria Health Journalists (ANHEJ) has called for  immediate action to halt further deaths from measles outbreak in Kaduna state.
The Association called on the Kaduna State Government to take immediate action to contain the spread and fatality rate due to the recent outbreak of measles in Wusar community in Igabi Local Government Area of  the state.
The disease has claimed the lives of over 100 children  between 2-3 years old within the space of just two months.
Investigation reveals that Wusar community, is one of the hard-to-reach areas in Igabi Local Government Area with no motorable road.
The only Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) that should serve the residents of the area is very far from them, while the facility is dilapidated, as there are no equipments and no properly trained health personnel.
“As Health Journalists, we are deeply worried that such number of children will be allowed to die within a period of two months without the Kaduna State Ministry of Health noticing it, let alone containing it”, the association said.
It says the fatality is a pointer that the Kaduna State Ministry of Health has no surveillance system that will enable it monitor and access information on all that is happening in all parts of the state.
ANHEJ, therefore, insist that health communication and immediate intervention is imperative in curtailing the spread of the disease that has claimed the lives of children-  who are the Nation’s future leaders.
The president of the Association, Mr. Hassan Zaggi says “We call on the Federal Government and other key agencies in the health sector to improve sensitization on the prevention and reduction of communicable diseases like measles in all parts of the country. ANHEJ, therefore, encourages state governments across the country to strengthen their surveillance and disease control units in order to prevent the needless death of children”.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family which is passed through direct contacts and through the air.
The virus infects the respiratory tract and spreads throughout the body.
The first sign of measles is high fever, runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes with a spread of rashes round the body.
Bilkisu Pai