The World Health Organisation and the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) have named Nigeria among five countries in the world in danger of measles attack. Aside from Nigeria, other countries in the danger of attacks that kill children included Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia.
The Director-General of WHO and UNICEF Executive Director, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Catherine Russell, blamed the impending attack of measles on children in the affected countries on insufficient measles vaccine coverage. A joint statement by the two world bodies said incidence of measles increased by 79 per cent in the first two months of 2022, compared to the same period in 2021, saying almost 17,338 measles cases were reported worldwide in January and February 2022, compared to 9,665 during the first two months of 2021. According to the agencies, as of April 1, 2022, not less than 57 vaccinepreventable disease campaigns in 43 countries that were scheduled to take place since the start of the pandemic are still postponed, impacting 203 million people, most of whom are children.
The agencies warned of “perfect storm” conditions for measles outbreaks affecting 73 million children as a result of the 19 missed vaccinations. The statement read in part: “Pandemic-related disruptions, increasing inequalities in access to vaccines, and the diversion of resources from routine immunization are leaving too many children without protection against measles and other vaccinepreventable diseases. “The risk for large outbreaks has increased as communities relax social distancing practices and other preventive measures for COVID-19 implemented during the height of the pandemic.