214 cases of measles, four deaths and 1,347 suspected cases have been recorded in few weeks in seven out of Cameroon’s ten regions with the localities of Yokadouma in the East and Ntui in the Centre as most hard hit.
This information was revealed by officials of the Expanded Immunization Programme last weekend after an analysis of the country’s measles epidemiological situation.
According to the report presented by the programme, the districts of Ntui, Mfou and Cite Verte in the Centre region counts 43 cases, Bankim Ngaoundal and Banyo in the Adamawa region counts 37 cases, 18 cases in Malentouen and Foumban in the West region, 16 cases in Maga, Mogode and Koussseri in the Far North, ten cases in Edea, Littoral, 9 in the South, 5 in the North, 7 in the South West and 4 in the North West.
The East region tops the chart of infections with 96 cases recorded in the localities of Yokadouma, Bertoua and Moloundou.
The report indicates that 78% of these victims are aged between 9months and 9years, 75% of whom are not vaccinated against the infectious disease.
It adds that out of the 43 cases recorded in the Centre region, the health district of Nyamoko in Ntui has 41 with 26 from Nyabidi village.
Investigations reveal that in the said area, no child has been vaccinated against measles and rubella.
A situation decried by Dr Shalom Tchokfe Ndoula, Permanent Secretary at the Expanded Immunization Programme.
The health official attributes the upsurge in cases of measles in Cameroon to non-vaccination.
“The first cause is non-vaccination. Many children are no more vaccinated neither with the first nor the second dose of measles and rubella introduced last year. Some parents even ignore their existence. The second dose is been administered from the child’s 15th month…” Dr Ndoula Shalom told Cameroon tribune.
“We have children who have not been vaccinated for three successive years, reason why the population is vulnerable to epidemics like measles…” He added.
A local response is underway in the hit health districts to contain the spread of the contagious virus.