Health officials say President George Weah is this Thursday expected to launch the first phase of a Nationwide Measles Campaign in Paynesville near Monrovia.
Deputy Health Minister-designate and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Katehsays over 727 thousand children across Liberia are targeted.
Dr. Kateh says Thursday’s launch will be a followed- up on children that missed the last routine measles vaccination Campaign in 2015.
More than half a million Liberian children were vaccinated against measles in the country’s first major immunization campaign at the end of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak.
This included a follow-up measles vaccination campaign, originally scheduled for the 4th quarter of 2014, which was postponed on the advice of the World Health Organization amid fears it might exacerbate EVD transmission.
As such, at the height of the Ebola outbreak, measles immunization rates had dropped to a staggeringly low 16 per cent, opening up an immunization gap that measles—a virus far more contagious than Ebola—was quickly able to exploit. On average, a case of Ebola results in two new infections, whereas a person infected with measles can generate up to 18 new cases among susceptible persons.
Deputy Health Minister-designate and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Francis Kateh, is meanwhile asking parents, religious and traditional leaders, Civil Society Organizations and others to support the Measles Campaign by ensuring that every child from 6 to 59 months old is protected against measles.