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320,692 Children Vaccinated in Measles Campaign in Sierra Leone

320,692 Children Vaccinated in Measles Campaign in Sierra Leone

The Ministry of Health and Sanitation in collaboration with its partners has concluded a week long Reactive Measles Campaign in both Kambia and Pujehun Districts. The Measles Vaccination campaign came as a result of a Measles outbreak in Kambia & Pujehun late last year. The campaign started on Saturday 19th January and ended on Friday 25th January, 2019.

The campaign had a target of 320,284 children between 6 months and 15 years to be reached and vaccinated against measles in both Kambia and Pujehun, 320, 629 children of the target age brackets were vaccinated, which falls a little below the overall target of both districts combined.

Impressively, Kambia District had a target of 159,958 children and eventually vaccinated 161,261, which goes way beyond their district target. However, their Southern Counterpart, Pujehun District could not reach their target which was 160,326 and only vaccinated 159,431 which falls little below their district target.

District Medical Officer Kambia District, Mariama Maurray, attributed their success to a robust Communication and Social Mobilization Team at the time, adding that there was a time during the campaign when there where series of refusal cases, which had wanted to hamper the whole immunization drive, but with proactive Communication and Social Mobilization Team on the ground, they were able to address the refusal cases, which she noted played a part to improve their district coverage.

She also recognized the part played by the National Supervisors, who also contributed immensely to ensure the success of the campaign. She also heaped praises on the staff of the Kambia District Health Management Team, describing them ‘a formidable team’. She further thanked the partners; WHO, UNICEF, Sierra Leone Red Cross Society, the media, the Government and other partners for their role in ensuring that the campaign becomes a success, noting that they would not have reached and past their district target without their unflinching support. She however, called for more support and collaboration in subsequent health interventions.

Dr. Murray concluded by drawing the attention of Sierra Leones’s porous border crossing points between Kambia and Guinea, as majority of the measles cases they had come from unvaccinated children from Guinea. ‘A good number of Guinean children on the border crossing points and villages were also vaccinated’ Dr. Murray Affirmed.

By Ibrahim Sorie Koroma

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