More than a dozen countries across Africa are at a high risk for measles outbreaks, after millions of children missed their measles and rubella vaccines during the pandemic, Precision Vaccinations reports.
Kenya is responding to a resurgence of measles in the country with a massive vaccination campaign aiming to reach 4 million children who missed the jabs during the pandemic, according to The Guardian.
- Fewer than 50% of Kenyan children aged 9 months to 5 years had received both doses of the measles vaccine in 2020.
- West Pokot county has an active outbreak, The Daily Nation reported last week, while a Ministry of Health/WHO assessment flagged 21 additional counties at high risk.
Other African countries at high risk:
- Cameroon: 4 people killed in an outbreak that infected ~200, the Ministry of Health reported last week. Vanguard
- Ethiopia: The WHO expressed concern for measles outbreaks in the embattled Tigray region, where humanitarian access is severely limited. UN News
- DRC: Registered 13,000+ cases between January and April. Reuters
More than measles: Recent outbreaks of yellow fever, cholera, and meningitis all point to worrying gaps in immunization coverage and surveillance in Africa, according to Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO’s regional director for Africa.
Related: Nigeria not prepared for future pandemics – International Center for Investigative Reporting