Panafrican News Agency

Benin to vaccinate more than five million children against measles, rubella

Cotonou, Benin (PANA) - More than five million children, aged between nine months and 14 years, are targeted by a measles and rubella vaccination campaign that started a week ago in Benin.

This campaign, whose official launch took place in Allada, also includes more than 1.7 million children aged between 9 months and 5 years. They will also receive vitamin A supplement. The campaign is supported by UNICEF and WHO.

In 2018, Benin experienced 28 outbreaks of measles epidemics and this year 14 communes reached the epidemic threshold.

This means this campaign is essential and urgent, said the representative of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Dr. Claudes Kamenga.

"Vaccination helps protect millions of children from deadly diseases. This is one of the most profitable investments in the health sector," he added.  

"...Measles, a highly contagious viral disease, is one of the leading causes of child mortality, yet we have a simple, effective and well-functioning vaccine to combat this scourge," said the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Benin, Dr. Jean-Pierre Baptiste.

To reach every child in Benin, the government and its various partners in the vaccination sector have mobilised 6,510 teams of vaccinators.

According to WHO statistics, between 2000 and 2016, measles vaccination prevented 20.4 million of deaths, making the vaccine the best investment in public health.

 -0- PANA IT/JSG/BBA/MA 12March2019