Gabon seeking 90 million FCFA for measles control

Libreville- Gabon (PANA) -- About 90 million FCFA is still missing from the budget to finance Gabon's measles vaccination campaign from 19 to 25 November but the country's health minister Paulette Missambo is determined to ensure the success of the operation, an official source told PANA here Friday.
Missambo has called on Gabon's friends to show generosity in view of the international community's recognition that measles was one of the major causes of mortality and morbidity among children under the age of five around the world.
Measles kills 450,000 African children every year.
In April this year, the Gabonese government set aside a budget of 422.
12 million FCFA to finance the anti-measles vaccination campaign, which showed a deficit of 89.
64 million FCFA.
A total of 511.
76 million FCFA is required to finance the operation aimed at curbing the further spread of measles, which killed 629 Gabonese children between 2001 and 2002.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Gabon said that an assessment will be conducted at the end of the countrywide vaccination campaign.
The UN health agency will also support a similar campaign next year.
The forthcoming vaccination campaign will target children aged between nine months and 14 years.
In addition, children between the age of five months and five years will receive vitamin A, which contributes to growth.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has called for the proper utilisation of the equipment it has supplied for the vaccination campaign.
Meanwhile, Dr Julienne Atsame, who heads the national technical commission established in August this year, gave a briefing on the vaccination campaign, which is also backed by Italian and Chinese co- operation agencies.
In 1990, Gabon, which has a population of 1.
2 million people, failed to meets its immunisation target.
The minister of health has admitted that the country's immunisation cover had decreased compared to the 1980s.
"The vaccination cover now stands at around 28 percent, thanks to activities carried out since last year", Missambo noted.

29 october 2004 11:08:00




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