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WHO Expert Says Measles An Emergency In Cameroon 

By Walter Wilson Nana

CameroonPostline.com — The WHO consultant in Cameroon, Cajetan Nchangang Nfor, has said measles kills children in Cameroon, so, it must be vigorously checked.

Nchangang Nfor was addressing the press at the conference hall of the Southwest Regional Delegation of Public Health recently as WHO and the Ministry of Public Health launched the Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Action Week in Buea.

The WHO representative called on Cameroonians and other nationals resident in Cameroon to take their children under five years for vaccination against measles; get Vitamin A and de-worming tablets, while post-partum women will also receive Vitamin A and pregnant women within three months of pregnancy, will be treated against malaria for free.

Nfor dispelled all rumours around vaccination campaigns in some parts of Cameroon and enjoined all to be part of the exercises nationwide. “The Government of Cameroon and her partners are spending a lot of money to get these antigens and the rest of the packages for the nation. We have to make good use of them,” he said.

He said external monitors of the campaigns will be on the ground to see the authenticity of the vaccines and to be sure that every child below five is vaccinated. The WHO official made a request to Cameroonian fathers to be part of the campaign and take their children to the designated vaccination centres. “Everybody has a right to vaccination,” he stated.

The Focal Point Official from the Ministry of Public Health for the campaign in the Southwest Region, Jet Njweipi, said measles must be kicked out of Cameroon, expressing worry that it is rampant in towns like Kumba, Tiko, Buea and Limbe.

“We intend to eradicate measles in Cameroon with campaigns like these and to encourage everybody to make use of the mosquito nets we had earlier distributed and take the Fansidar drug after every three months,” Njweipi added. He said some 242 teams of vaccinators have been sent out to the nooks and crannies of the Southwest Region to reach the target population.

Earlier, the Southwest Regional Delegate of Public Health, Dr. Victor Mbome Njie said the Maternal and Child Health and Nutrition Action Week, which is ongoing across the world, is a package of activities put together by the Government of Cameroon and her partners – WHO, Helen Keller International, Medecins Sans Frontieres, the International Red Cross Society, Lions International and UNICEF, to fight against measles and de-worm Cameroonian children.

“These bodies are out to give Cameroonians good health,” Mbome Njie remarked. Measles is a viral, contagious and fatal disease. It is caused by a virus and manifests via symptoms like fever, rash, cough, runny nose and conjunctivitis.

It can be complicated with serious conditions like pneumonia, diarrhoea, meningitis and kerato-conjunctivitis, which can cause vision loss. Besides health facilities, the vaccination teams on the field can be found in markets, chiefdoms, mosques, churches, nursery schools and many other places.

First published in The Post print edition no. 01342

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