The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has said that it would be targeting about 3.1 million children for the measles immunization drive in Borno State.
Haruna Adamu, the Vaccine Security and Logistics Officer of UNICEF in Nigeria said this while addressing newsmen at an immunization centre in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
Adamu said that there was an increase in cases of measles infection in the North East in 2016 hence the need to widen the target of the programme.
He also noted that because of the large number of targets in this year’s measles immunization, the exercise has been designed into two phases.
The first phase of the exercise would be conducted in 10 local government areas including Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, Jere, Mafa, Konduga,Monguno among others.
While the second phase which will hold between January 19 and 23 at 15 other local government areas mostly in the southern part of Borno state will be targeted at over million persons.
Adamu also disclosed that UNICEF has increased the age bracket of targets for the immunization from between 9 months – 59 months to 6 months – 10 years.
He said that this was as a result of last year statistics that showed cases of the disease in ages below and above previous years range.
According to Adamu, UNICEF has already shipped over 2.1 million doses of measles vaccines to Borno State with about a million more expected before the commencement of the next phase.
When journalists visited one of the immunization centres in the Internally Displaced Persons camps, many children were seen taking the vaccines.
The immunisation centres are also located in schools and communities across the state.
Hadiza Mohammed, a mother who brought her child for the immunization urged women to take advantage of the opportunity and protect their children from measles.