UN: Aid Shortfall Imperils Fight Against Child Measles in West, Central Africa

West and Central African nations risk reversing their gains on curbing child mortality as financing for combating a measles outbreak in the region remains lacking, UNICEF warned. Some USD16 million is needed to conduct follow-up vaccination campaigns to ensure the health of children in Africa. The funding covers 16 measles-hit nations. According to the World Health Organization, only 80 percent or less of the population in most West and Central African countries, have been immunized. The agency recommends 95 percent coverage. “Such a figure means they can expect to have large, sustained outbreaks every three to four years” UNICEF regional director for Africa Luis Gomes Sambo said. “The funding gap must be met so that countries can continue to undertake large-scale campaigns to prevent child deaths and sustain the gains … Reaching the 2010 goal will also require strengthening routine immunization and disease surveillance systems to rapidly detect and control outbreaks.”

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.