According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), measles is highly contagious and remains one of the leading causes of death among young children.
Measles is a viral infection that is normally passed through direct contact and through the air. The virus infects the respiratory tract, and then spreads throughout the body. It is serious for small children but easily preventable by vaccine.
The WHO stated that during 2000-2016, measles vaccination prevented an estimated 20.4 million deaths. And so there has been a substantial decline in global measles death.
However, in a new report published by the World Health Organisation (WHO), it identified Nigeria as the country with the highest unvaccinated children worldwide. In the report, Nigeria tops the list of countries with unvaccinated children with 3.3 million children, followed by India with 2.9 million, Indonesia 1.2million, and Democratic Republic of Congo with 0.7 million.
Some of the signs and symptoms of measles to look at for in a child include:
High fever: The first sign of measles is usually a high fever, which begins about 10 to 12 days after exposure to the virus and lasts 4 to 7 days.
A runny nose
Red and watery eyes
Small white spots inside the cheeks can develop in the initial stage.
Since measles is highly contagious, continuous health education is required to change the disposition of the parents/guardian and improve vaccination coverage to minimise measles associated morbidity and mortality.
Adequate surveillance, funding of vaccination programme and a nationwide measles campaign should be rolled out.
Most importantly, vaccines are one of the most effective ways parents can protect their children. You can prevent your baby or child from being infected by measles by giving an injection of human normal immunoglobin (HNIC). HNIC is a concentration of antibodies that can give short term but immediate protection against measles.
Compiled by Gabriel Ifinnwa