Published Date: 2010-08-16 16:16:54
Subject: PRO/EAFR> Measles - Africa (30): Malawi
Archive Number: 20100816.211284
MEASLES - AFRICA (30): MALAWI
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Sun 15 Aug 2010
Source: Google News, Agence France-Presse (AFP) report [edited]
Malawi to immunize 6 million amid measles outbreak
Malawi has announced plans to launch a massive measles immunisation
drive on Monday [16 Aug 2010] in response to what a health official
described as the worst outbreak in a decade.
Measles has claimed 195 lives since January  in the
impoverished southern African country, prompting authorities to
launch a USD 4.2 million (Euro 3.3 million) campaign to vaccinate 6
"We are ready for the launch and we will target 6 million children
aged from 6 months to 15 years for the mass immunisation," health
ministry spokesman Storn Kabuluzi told AFP.
Kabuluzi said Malawi is facing "the worst outbreak in a decade", with
nearly 77 000 measles cases reported, mainly in cities and towns.
He added that the target age group was at highest risk because many
children were not immunized during the last decade, when the
country's immunisation coverage was just 60 percent.
Kabuluzi said Malawi needed to push coverage to 90 percent to contain
The World Health Organization recommends governments immunize against
the killer disease every 3 years.
HealthMap Alerts via ProMED-EAFR
[A mass immunisation campaign targeting the most affected age-group
is the solution to the ongoing measles outbreak in Malawi but in
addition the routine measles vaccination coverage needs to be raised
from the average of 60 percent recorded in the recent years. These
efforts should be complemented with supplementary immunisation
activities every 2-3 years to mop-up all the unvaccinated children.
A map showing the regions of Malawi can be seen at
HealthMap/ProMED interactive map of the country is available at
http://healthmap.org/r/01am. - Mod.JFW]