For the first time since the start of the Ebola outbreak, Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone are conducting nationwide immunisation campaigns aimed at vaccinating more than three million children against preventable but potentially deadly diseases.
A report stated, the three countries most affected by Ebola will immunise children against diseases such as measles and polio in UNICEF-supported campaigns involving the provision of vaccines and the training and deployment of thousands of immunization teams.
Manuel Fontaine, UNICEF’s Regional Director for West and Central Africa, noted: “While the effort to get to zero cases of Ebola continues, it’s critical that basic health services are restored,” “Stepping up immunisation programs that were disrupted by the epidemic will save lives and prevent a reversal of the health gains that were made in these countries before the outbreak.”
On April 18, a nationwide measles campaign was launched in Guinea to vaccinate 1.3 million children aged 6 months to 9 years old. Today, a mother and child health week begins in Sierra Leone with the provision of Vitamin A, deworming pills, and screening for malnutrition. In May, an immunization drive for 1.5 million children under 5 years old will protect against measles and polio.
In Liberia, a campaign to provide measles and polio vaccinations to over 700,000 children under 5 is planned for May 8 to 14. As of 14 April 2015, WHO reported 25,831 cases of Ebola virus disease related to the outbreak in West Africa, including 10,699 deaths. Thirty-seven new confirmed cases were reported from WHO in the week from 6 -12 April (28 in Guinea and nine in Sierra Leone). Liberia reported no new confirmed cases. In the week up to 12 April, eight prefectures/districts in Guinea and Sierra Leone reported confirmed cases, compared with 10 of the previous week.