Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are supporting the Borno State government to vaccinate 34,290 children in Khaddamari town, close to Zabarmari where there are a large number of measles cases.
This was made known today in a statement signed by the organisation’s Field Communication Officer for Borno, Abdulkareem Yakubu.
The campaign which started on April 26 aims to reach 103,823 children living in the districts of Gwange one, two and three, and 277,395 in the informal Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps located in the districts of Bolori one and two.
David Thérond, MSF’s Head of Mission in Nigeria pointed out that it is the organisation’s first time in a measles vaccination campaign in Borno State.
“Routine vaccinations are critical, they save lives,” Thérond said. “We welcome this catch-up campaign because measles is extremely contagious and especially dangerous for young children, particularly those suffering from malnutrition or other co-morbidities.”
Mother to one of the beneficiaries, Amina Mohammed, currently raising seven children in the Umara Bolori IDP camp in Maiduguri said she has already had her youngest child vaccinated in the recent campaign.
“I have to be a good example to other women here by encouraging and educating them on the importance and benefits of the vaccination,” she said.
Access to healthcare including vaccination is difficult for communities living in areas around Maiduguri where the security situation is unstable. Many health centres have been forced to close for security reasons and humanitarian organisations pushed to leave meaning that it is often difficult for families to get the health care they need.
MSF has been working in Nigeria since 1996 and in Borno State since 2014.