In the Ivory Coast, medical teams have been sent to all corners of the country in a nationwide campaign to immunise young children against measles.
In the Ivory Coast, medical teams have been sent to all corners of the country in a nationwide campaign to immunise young children against measles. Infant mortality from measles is still high in Africa so World Health and Children's organisations have been promoting vaccination campaigns throughout the continent.
SYNOPSIS: Nearly two hundred children are known to have died from measles in the Ivory Coast last year and nearly two thousand children had to be hospitalised. Many others died from viruses they picked up after being weakened by measles. So this month vaccination teams have been out in market places all over they country immunising babies and young children. The teams sometimes find it difficult to persuade mothers to bring their children. They are often afraid of what they call' the big pistol' and think up every possible excuse to avoid it.
The measles vaccinations are part of a much broader programme organised in the country with the aid of the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Children's Fund and other Children's Organisation. The battle against poliomyelitis is already almost won: only fifteen cases have been reported so far this year, against nearly a hundred last year. Health Officials say all children should be fully immunised against it by 1990.
Families are issued with health cards so officials can keep a record of what vaccinations the child has had, but many illiterate mothers find it hard to understand their importance so health officials are at work educating the population.