Bugesera- Rwanda (PANA) -- A large-scale immunisation campaign against measles fo r some three million Rwandan children was officially launched on Tuesday in Buge s era, a district in south-eastern Rwanda.
The campaign is expected to be extended to other regions in the country, Dr Rich ard Sezibera, Minister of Health, told the press.
"Immunization against measles is necessary to prevent a high infant mortality ra te in Rwanda," the health minister said.
"This action is taking place following a growing number of cases of measles in t he Rwandan regions bordering the forest zones of neighbouring countries.
A few s o uthern, eastern, and western regions of Rwanda sharing borders with Burundi and t he Democratic Republic of Congo are the worst affected by measles following the d eplorable conditions of hygiene and malnutrition," he said.
In a communiquأ© issued on Monday in Kigali, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) hai led the initiative of the Rwandan government as aimed at preventing maternal and infant mortality.
"This immunisation campaign is the first one targeting a large number of infants since the 1994 genocide.
Indeed, the prevalence of measles is not as high as t h ought, for only one child out of 50 dies of the disease," UNICEF resident repre s entative, Dr Joseph Foumbi, said "We can express satisfaction over the fact that Rwanda has made significant prog ress in preventing infant and maternal mortality," he said.