Abuja - The Federal Government said on Thursday that it would immunize 35 million children aged between nine months and five years against measles.
Ado Muhammad, the Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, announced the plan when he briefed newsmen in Abuja.
He said the immunisation programme, which would commence from October 5 to October 9 in the 19 northern states and Abuja, would be conducted in two phases.
Muhammad said that the second phase would take place from November 2 to November 6 in all the southern states. He said the campaign would reduce the growing case of measles in the country.
He said the campaign would be undertaken by the Federal Government, World Health Organisation, UNICEF, Rotary International and other key development partners.
“The integrated measles campaign will vaccinate children aged nine to 59 months against measles, while oral polio vaccines and other antigens will also be available for immunizing eligible children irrespective of their previous status.
“20 million doses of safe and potent measles vaccines have been released for the campaign in the north, while 15 million of same vaccines were released for the exercise in the southern part of the country,” he said.
Muhammad said more than 34 000 teams made up of 10 persons per team would be engaged in the campaign.
“Each team is made up of team supervisors, vaccinators, community mobilisers, town announcers and recorders,’’ he said.
He urged all political, traditional, religious and community leaders to assist the teams by ensuring that all children eligible were made available for the exercise.
Muhammad recalled that the country conducted measles 'catch up' campaign between 2005 and 2006 while a follow-up was conducted in 2008 and 2011.
“It is important to note that as at September 2013, Nigeria has reported 53 842 cases of measles out of which 330 died compared to 8 243 in 2012 out of which 104 died for same period,” he said.