NewsDesk @bactiman63

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported recently that from February to May 2023 measles outbreaks attributed to the continuous influx of unvaccinated children from hard-to-reach and extremely hard-to-reach areas in north-east Nigeria claimed the lives of more than 50 children.

Image/Robert Herriman

Borno State was the most affected, recording over 5,000 suspected cases, with Jere LGA and Maiduguri Metropolitan Council recording 1,644 and 1,627 cases, respectively, by the end of May 2023. There were 917 suspected cases of measles in Yobe State, with 9 deaths from measles-related complications, and 66 suspected cases of measles reported in Adamawa State.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is working with the Borno State Ministry of Health and the State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to intensify measles surveillance and reporting and to strengthen case management in health facilities. WHO is also supporting the state government in sample collection and testing to identify and manage measles cases.

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The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) support to the response includes an immunization campaign in seven LGAs (Biu, Jere, Konduga, Mafa, Maiduguri, Ngala, and Shani) where 90 per cent of the children under 5 identified for measles vaccination (405,381 children) were reached. UNICEF further immunized 171,400 children against measles in areas hit by the outbreak including Bama, Banki, Hajj, Muna and Shakori. UNICEF also supported the Borno State Government to preposition an additional 15,000 doses of measles vaccine for reactive vaccination in hotspots and provided vitamin A and other medical supplies to case management centres.


Aid organisations have scaled up measles awareness campaigns across the BAY states to educate communities on how to prevent the spread of the disease. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is advocating for increased support to affected IDPs and intensified infectious disease awareness and mitigation programmes.