By Odigiri mackson

An outbreak of measles has been reported in 13 local government areas of Niger State.

Dr Suleiman jiya of Niger state Primary Health Care Development Agency disclosed this while given a profile analysis of the situation of the disease in the state during a one day media orientation on immunisation activies in the state held at the conference hall of the Ministry of Health and Hospital Management sevices

 Dr. jiya  said that the reported cases occurred during the period  of the 3 months lockdown of COVID-19 pandemic in the state, saying that care givers/parents were not taken their children to health facilities for  immunisation due to fear of uncertainty  of contracting Coronavirus.  Some of the affected local government areas of the state include Suleja, Munya, and Bosso among others.

He described the outbreak of the disese in the state during this period of COVID-19 as unfortunate despite government efforts in making all the needed vaccines for immunisation available in all the health facilities across the state. He however recalled that the last reported case of measles in the state was in 2013.

Speaking earlier in her opening remark, the Director Immunisation of the agency, Hajiya Fatima Abdallah called on parents to always take their children to the health facilities for immunization which is free of charge saying that immunisation helps in preventing a lot of disease that may result to death of children.

 She also urged the media to assist the government by educating members of the public especially the nursing mothers in the state by creating awareness on the importance of routine immunisation exercise.

The director  while describing the role of the media as critical in carrying out immunisation activities in the state disclosed that  the media has a role to play in helping the agency to dispel some myth and misconceptions associated with the immunisation vaccines exercise such as religion, norms and culture .

She further stated that the media can assist the government by sending the right and correct messages about routine immunisation (RI) to members of the public using their various platforms and production of radio jingles as well as television.

Highlight of the one day media orientation meeting on Measles Immunization Awareness Activies was an overview of measles immunization. Papers were presented by Dr.Ahmed Abdulsalam of UNICEF, while the state Health Educator (SHE), Moh’d Alh. Moh’d delivered a paper on the Roles and Responsibities of the media. Also, a goodwill message was delivered by Mrs Tenu of UNICEF STATE LEAD.