WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 28, 2016

MSF announces end of measles outbreak in Nigeria

Médecins Sans Frontières announced on Tuesday that a measles outbreak in Nigeria's Katsina state is over after 28 weeks and more than 36,000 infections.

MSF supported Nigerian authorities throughout the outbreak by providing case management and epidemiological surveillance in Katsina's 34 local government areas. The organization began supporting the Nigerian outbreak in February.

The outbreak started in December in the southern part of Katsina during the dry season. The outbreak subsequently spread to all 34 provinces. During the 28-week outbreak, 36,428 people were infected with measles and 198 people died.

MSF supported the Nigerian Ministry of Health by regularly visiting 300 health facilities and donating treatments for 14,290 measles cases, including 420 cases designated as complicated.

As a result of a measles vaccine shortage in Nigeria, at first, only 10 percent of the vaccines needed to conduct a mass vaccination campaign were allocated to the state. In March, MSF further supported authorities by conducting a mass vaccination campaign in five of the 34 local government areas.

During the campaign, approximately 217,500 children aged six months to five years received vaccinations. The number of cases declined in the five areas of the campaign.

MSF also screened 215,038 children aged six months to five years for malnutrition, determining that the severe acute malnutrition rate was 1.8 percent and the global acute malnutrition rate was six percent.

Epicentre, MSF's epidemiological research branch, conducted a malnutrition and vaccination coverage survey to thoroughly analyze the situation. Results from the survey are expected by the end of August.