Oyo govt, WHO, UCH move to curtail measles outbreak

Health officials from the Oyo State Ministry of Health, World Health Organization, University College Hospital and other development partners have intervened in the measles outbreak recorded at Sabo, Ibadan, which has so far claimed one life.

A statement by the Ministry’s Acting Director, Public Health, Dr. Taiwo Oladipo, on Wednesday, blamed the only confirmed death on the failure of the parents to seek medical attention when they noticed the child’s condition.

He said that the ministry was first notified of the outbreak on January 11, which prompted the development partners, including the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme, to move into the area the following day for proper investigation and intervention.

Within a week of stepping into the matter, he said that 32 suspected cases of measles were identified in Sabo, which he said was now being managed by health personnel at the primary health care centre within the community.

He called on members of the public to collaborate with the health personnel by promptly reporting any suspected case of measles or outbreak of other contagious diseases through telephone numbers 08023229267, 08038210122 and 08025245809.

Oladipo said, “At the time of the visit, only a case of death was confirmed by a woman in the community and that the child died at home without the parents seeking medical attention.

“During the visit, several children were noticed to have symptoms suggestive of measles and as such blood samples were taken from five children and sent for laboratory confirmation at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research in Lagos.

“In collaboration with Ibadan North Local Government Area, the ministry and partners commenced community outreaches for prevention and management of measles at Sabo on January 14, with additional health awareness campaign through the media.”

Similarly, he said that the state’s technical committee decided to carry out a four-day reactive measles vaccination in the affected ward, beginning from January 19 to curtail the disease from spreading to other parts of the community.

Advising parents to comply with routine immunisation regimen for children age 0 to 11 months, he said that a state-wide measles campaign already planned for January 28 to February 1, would offer mop up opportunity for children in Sabo community.

To prevent the escalation of the disease in the state, Oladipo advised residents to reduce overcrowding and improve ventilation in their homes, as well as to seek prompt medical attention once symptoms were noticed.

The official also emphasised the need for personal and environmental hygiene to forestall outbreak of diseases in the state.