States in the North East part of Nigeria recorded no fewer than 21,011 cases of measles with 100 deaths in the past few months. A current survey indicated that while cases were recorded in Bauchi, Borno, Yobe and Gombe states, officials in Adamawa and Jigawa said no such cases were recorded in their states.
In Borno, where the highest number of cases was recorded, officials said security challenges in the state made it difficult to address the situation. The Director of Borno State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Sule Mele, said 18,204 measles cases were recorded in the state from January till date, with 93 deaths, mostly children.
He attributed the outbreak of the disease to inability of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to access healthcare services due to the ongoing conflict between security forces and Boko Haram insurgents. Mr Mele, a medical doctor, noted that there was high prevalence of the disease in ‘trapped’ communities due to the lack of access to vaccination. He added that the lack of access to crisis-prone areas was also a major obstacle militating against effective response to the disease.