Three Children Succumb to Measles in Northern Nigeria

by VR Sreeraman on  March 30, 2008 at 12:38 PM Tropical Disease News   - G J E 4
Measles has killed three children in northern Nigeria, a news agency reported Saturday, a day after health officials said the disease had caused the deaths of 165 in the region.
Three Children Succumb to Measles in Northern Nigeria
Three Children Succumb to Measles in Northern Nigeria

Three out of some 105 children infected in Wamakko local government area of Sokoto state had died in one week, and 30 villages had been hit by the disease, the News Agency of Nigeria said.

On Friday, health officials in the northern state of Katsina said 165 children out of more than 3,000 infected had died in the past three months.

"The fatalities are unprecedented and the high rate of infection can be attributed to low immunization as 90 percent of the infected children have not been immunized against measles," Halliru Idris, director of disease control in the state's health ministry, told AFP by phone from Katsina.

He blamed parents for failing to take their children to hospital for routine immunization.

A similar outbreak has affected another northern state, Kano, in the past months.

Health officials in northern Nigeria note that parental attitudes towards infant vaccinations in general appeared to change after a 2003-2004 campaign conducted by a handful of radical Muslim clerics who claimed that immunization was a western ploy to render Muslim girls infertile.

That theory has been debunked but parents still tend to see immunization as something their children can do without.

Measles is an air-borne viral infection among children. The symptoms include fever, sores, rashes, coughing and convulsions.

If not treated in time, it can lead to nervous disorders, conditions such as deafness and paralysis, and death.

Source: AFP

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