Panafrican News Agency

Thousands of children vaccinated against measles in western Mali

Bamako, Mali (PANA) - Several thousand children aged 15 to 23 months in Kayes town, capital of Kayes region in western Mali, will receive the second jab of the anti-measles vaccine in week-long campaign starting Wednesday, according to public health officials.

The goal of this immunization coverage is to reach at least 95% for the first and second dose. The first dose was administered to children a month ago.

Vaccination against measles, a contagious disease, will help strengthen the children's immunity, especially for those who will receive a follow-up visit during their second year of life.

The campaign also aims to integrate other health interventions such as growth monitoring, de-worming, vitamin A supplementation, and to reduce the number of people at risk of measles, thereby reducing transmission of the disease among the population.

According to the same source, the campaign is part of the implementation of the regional communication and social mobilization plan on the introduction of the second dose of measles vaccine in the routine Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI).

The country regularly experiences epidemics due to certain infectious diseases such as measles. Since 2001, measles has been part of a global initiative which has led to a reduction in the annual number of cases.

Over the past ten years, Mali experienced measles epidemics, the most notable of which were in 2009 and 2010, which respectively caused 2,936 laboratory-confirmed cases, including 13 deaths and 1,715 cases including three deaths. In 2018, the country recorded 440 confirmed measles cases including 3 deaths.

-0- PANA GT/IS/MTA/AR 8Jan2020