Cameroon + 1 more

Cameroon: Measles - Information Bulletin n° 1

Format
Situation Report
Source
Posted
Originally published
Glide No. EP-2009-000021-CMR

This bulletin has been issued for information only and reflects the current situation and details available at this time. The Federation is not seeking funding or other assistance from donors for this operation. The Cameroon Red Cross National Society will, however, accept direct assistance to provide support to the affected population.

An outbreak of measles occurred in Northern Cameroon since early 2008, and intensified with the arrival of Chadian refugees in that locality in February 2008. Since then, a total number of 355 cases of measles have been registered in the region, including 64 cases in January 2009. The Northern region of Cameroon is divided into 15 health zones, 10 of which have each registered at least one case of measles since early 2009. The average age of the people affected is 3.5 years, and 50% of the victims are 3 years old. 75% of the victims are below the age of 5, with the youngest being just 4 months old. Government organized an immunization campaign in 2008, but several families deliberately refused to get their children vaccinated. 84% of measles cases registered so far are those children who failed to be vaccinated in 2008, the majority of whom are male children. Since 2008, 17 people have died of measles in that locality. The Cameroon Red Cross Society (CRCS), with the support of the Federation's Central Africa Regional Representation (CARREP) in Yaoundé (Cameroon) has already started sensitizing the populations to the signs and symptoms of the disease, and referring cases identified to the nearest health centre. Cameroon Red Cross volunteers are also sensitizing the populations to the need of getting their children immunized against measles. This activity is expected to be pursued in the days ahead.

The Situation

An outbreak of measles occurred in Northern Cameroon since early 2008, and intensified with the arrival of Chadian refugees in that locality in February 2008. The health districts that have been affected by the disease so far include Goulfey, Kolofata, Koza, Mada, Makary, Maroua urbain, Méri, Mokolo, Mora and Yagoua. The most affected localities are Dougoï, 170 cases (47%), Founangué, 101 cases (28%), Djarengol Kodeck, 32 cases (9%), and Domayo II, 20 cases (6%). Since then, a total number of 355 cases of measles have been registered in the region, including 64 cases in January 2009. The Northern region of Cameroon is divided into 15 health zones, 10 of which have each registered at least one case of measles since early 2009. The average age of the people affected is 3.5 years, and 50% of the victims are 3 years old. 75% of the victims are below the age of 5, with the youngest being just 4 months old. Government organized an immunization campaign in 2008, but several families deliberately refused to get their children vaccinated. 84% of measles cases registered so far are these children who failed to be vaccinated in 2008, the majority of whom are male children. Most of these children are found in the Dougoï health zone where parents are strongly opposed to the idea of immunization. Since 2008, 17 people have died of measles in that locality.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

The Cameroon Red Cross Society, with the support of the Federation's Central Africa Regional Representation (CARREP) in Yaoundé (Cameroon) has already started sensitizing the populations to the signs and symptoms of the disease, and referring cases identified to the nearest health centre. Cameroon Red Cross volunteers are also sensitizing the populations to the need of getting their children immunized against measles. This activity is expected to be pursued in the days ahead, with the support of CARREP's Health department. It should be noted that Red Cross action is organized in the field around a crisis unit that has been set up for the purpose of putting the measles epidemic under control.

How we work

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The International Federation's activities are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Cameroon: Julbert Tonye, Secretary General Cameroon Red Cross Society, email : tonjul2002@yahoo.fr , Phone: (237) 99 91 82 98, Fax: (237) 22 21 74 39 /

In Cameroon: Javier Medrano, Federation Regional Representative for Central Africa, Yaoundé (Cameroon), email: javier.medrano@ifrc.org, Phone: (237) 22 21 74 37 or (237) 77 09 87 89,

In Senegal : Alasan Senghore, Federation Head of West and Central Africa Zone Office, Dakar, Senegal, email: alasan.senghore@ifrc.org , Phone: (221) 869 3641, Fax: (221) 22 860 2002 / Hans Ebbing, Health and Care Coordinator, West and Central Africa Zone Office, phone: (221) 869 39 15, email: hans.ebbing@ifrc.org

MAP - Cameroon: Measles (as of 20 Jan 2009)