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Yellow Fever Vaccination Campaign (April 10 - May 1) Targets Case Resurgence

Yellow Fever Vaccination Campaign (April 10 - May 1) Targets Case Resurgence

Paru le mardi, 02 avril 2024 09:21

In response to a surge in yellow fever cases since 2017, the Ministry of Public Health, backed by its partners, is launching a reactive vaccination campaign from April 10 to May 1 across seven health districts impacted by the disease. Official data reveals that between January 1, 2021, and June 13, 2022, Cameroon reported 49 probable cases of yellow fever, with all regions affected.

Health authorities attribute the disease’s resurgence to inadequate vaccination coverage. Despite efforts, Cameroon has yet to reach the 80% vaccination rate required for herd immunity, with the 2022 estimate being 56%.

For Dr. Shalom Tchokfe Ndoula, Permanent Secretary of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), since the conclusion of the last mass campaign in 2015, routine immunization coverage for children has been insufficient. “In each birth cohort, there are children who have not been vaccinated, and over time they reach a sufficient number to reduce immunity in the adult population,” he explains. He adds that compared to other countries that did not conduct mass campaigns between 2002 and 2015, Cameroon has covered all its districts, making the risk manageable for now.

However, children are not the sole focus of yellow fever vaccination. Adults are typically vaccinated during mass campaigns or when traveling abroad. Those not participating in these campaigns become susceptible targets, contributing to the virus’s maintenance and spread. To curb the resurgence, the country regularly organizes targeted response campaigns.

Yellow fever, a hemorrhagic disease transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito, can cause severe symptoms in some patients, including high fever and jaundice. The Institut Pasteur notes that aside from vaccination, the only treatments for the disease once contracted are rest, rehydration, and medication to alleviate fever, vomiting, and pain.

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