The Association of Nigerian Health Journalists (ANHEJ), has called on the Kaduna State Government to take immediate action to contain the spread and fatality rate due to the recent outbreak of measles in Wusar community in Igabi Local Government Area of the state.
The disease, according to reports, has claimed the lives of over 100 children between 2-3 years old within the space of just two months.
The association decried the fact that Wusar community as one of the hard-to-reach areas in Igabi Local Government Area is without help, with the only Primary Healthcare Centre (PHC) that should serve the residents of the area is many miles away from the community.
The statement read in part: “As Health Journalists, we are deeply worried that such number of children will be allowed to die within a period of two months without the Kaduna State Ministry of Health noticing it, let alone containing it.
“ANHEJ, therefore, insists that health communication and immediate intervention is imperative in curtailing the spread of the disease that has claimed the lives of children- who are the Nation’s future leaders”.
The association also called on the Federal Government and other key agencies in the health sector to improve sensitization on the prevention and reduction of communicable diseases like measles in all parts of the country.
“ANHEJ, therefore, encourages state governments across the country to strengthen their surveillance and disease control units in order to prevent the needless death of children”, the statement further read.
Measles is a highly contagious disease caused by a virus in the paramyxovirus family which is passed through direct contacts and through the air. The virus infects the respiratory tract and spreads throughout the body.
The first sign of measles is high fever, runny nose, cough, red and watery eyes with a spread of rashes round the body.