SAVE OUR CHILDREN
MEASLES (also known as Rubeola) is an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus, specifically a paramyxovirus of the genus Morbillivirus. Morbilliviruses, like other paramyxoviruses, are enveloped, single-stranded, negative-sense RNA viruses. Symptoms include fever, cough, runny nose, red eyes and a generalized, maculopapular, erythematous rash.
Measles is spread through respiration (contact with fluids from an infected person’s nose and mouth, either directly or through aerosol transmission), and is highly contagious—90% of people without immunity sharing living space with an infected person will contact it. It is recommended that children are immunized against measles by the age of 18 months, generally as part of a three-part MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, and rubella). The vaccination is generally not given earlier than this because children younger than 18 months usually retain antibodies transmitted from the mother during pregnancy. A second dose is usually given to children between the ages of four and five, to increase rates of immunity. Vaccination rates have been high enough to make measles relatively uncommon. Even a single case in a college dormitory or similar setting is often met with a local vaccination program, in case any of the people exposed are not already immune.
In developing countries like Nigeria where measles is highly endemic, WHO doctors recommend two doses of vaccine be given at six and nine months of age. The vaccine should be given whether the child is HIV-infected or not. The vaccine is less effective in HIV-infected infants, but the risk of adverse reactions is low. Measles vaccination programs are often used to deliver other child health interventions, as well, such as bed nets to protect against malaria, antiparasite medicine and vitamin A supplements, and so contribute to the reduction of child deaths from other causes
According to the World Health Organization, they were 18,843 cases of measles outbreak reported in Nigeria. The outbreaks also indicate the need to ensure that parents are fully aware of the benefits of immunization and the risks associated with not vaccinating children.