Effective response reduces the risk of measles spread
January 21, 2020 10:05 am
Nurses visiting villagers for vaccination campaign [Source: Health Ministry]
Fiji, Samoa and Tonga have conducted wide-scale vaccination campaigns aimed at closing immunity gaps to stop the transmission of the measles virus.
Last year, the Pacific saw the re-emergence of measles, with outbreaks declared in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and American Samoa, and cases reported in Kiribati.
For Samoa, the country experienced a wide-scale measles outbreak which cost lives, with infants and young children being most affected.
In response to the identification of measles, Fiji and other island countries made serious efforts to close immunity gaps in their population and strengthen infectious disease prevention, surveillance and response systems.
In a joint statement the World Health Ogranization and UNICEF say these efforts align to the core public health capacities required by all countries under the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005, and critical to preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases, such as measles.
Fiji and Tonga continue immunizing those most at risk of measles to meet the target of 95 per cent and ensure that populations are protected.
A total of 28 cases were recorded in Fiji, with majority cases from the Serua/Namosi province.
However, the Health Ministry last week ended the measles outbreak declared for the Serua/Namosi province.