Nigeria has embarked on a massive vaccination campaign following the death of at least 20 people from yellow fever southeast of the country. The deaths have been documented in the Ebonyi State in recent weeks. Government has partnered with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Vaccine Alliance for the vaccination exercise that targets 1.6 million people aged 9 months to 44 years old.
“This vaccination campaign will be a crucial activity to stop the spread of the outbreak and ensure that all people at highest risk are safe,” said Dr Clement Peter, Officer in Charge, WHO Nigeria. The response to the outbreak in Ebonyi is part of the global strategy to eliminate yellow fever epidemics by 2026. It is expected that more than 75 million people in Nigeria will be protected against the disease by the end of 2021.
Yellow fever is an acute viral ailment transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Nigeria has reported more than 3 900 suspected cases since the onset of the outbreak in late 2017. The West African country, which is the continent’s most populous with over 192 million people, is vulnerable to disease outbreaks. It is also battling cases of the Lassa fever, which is transmitted by mice, and intermittent eruptions of the water borne cholera disease.