Gabon goes to war against measles

#Gabon : The Gabonese government has just launched a national measles vaccination campaign for 5-year-old children and vitamin A supplementation in several provinces of the country.

Let’s launch a new prevention campaign against measles, a disease that is making a resurgence after a sharp decline. The operation covers several provinces of Gabon: Estuaire, Haut-Ogooué, Moyen-Ogooué, Ngounié, Ogooué-Maritime and Woleu-Ntem.

As the planet hopes for an eventual end to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, global progress against measles is threatened by this health crisis. Because to protect the population from the spread of the measles virus, a very high vaccination coverage is required: the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a vaccination coverage of 95%, but this is an unattainable goal for many countries on the continent.

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According to Health Minister Guy Patrick Obiang, Gabon has been faced with a recurrence of measles since the beginning of the year. “This is an opportunity for us to say that measles is part of WHO’s mandatory vaccinations and that every child must be properly vaccinated. Today we have the opportunity to vaccinate unvaccinated children,” he says.

The aim of this campaign, which will affect 292,149 children aged 9 to 59 months for measles and 296,397 children aged 6 to 59 months for vitamin A, is to significantly increase children’s collective immunity to stop chain transmission and prevent epidemics.

“A vaccinated child is vaccinated all his life. And the technical and financial partners I represent here remain committed to supporting the Ministry of Health and the Government to make this campaign a success,” said Magaran Monzon Bagayoko, WHO Representative in Gabon.

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The campaign started on April 26th and ends this Saturday, April 30th. She knows a certain enthusiasm on site. This means that many parents have understood the importance of getting their children vaccinated.

“It is good to vaccinate children because it prevents diseases. And since it is a contagious disease, it is necessarily worrying,” says François Elo, a parent who came to have their child vaccinated at the Nzeng Ayong health center in Libreville’s 6th arrondissement.

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It should be noted that outside of the health facilities, children can receive their doses from the heads of neighborhoods and villages, as well as in preschool institutions.

As a reminder, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the French Development Agency (AFD) and WHO are supporting the Gabonese government in this measles prevention effort.

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