Over 130 children have been admitted to Tamale Teaching Hospital, Central Hospital and West Hospital since November 2022 for contracting measles.
This year, more than 50 cases have already been reported from Changli, Sakasaka and Kakpayili thereby raising concerns of the possibility of fresh outbreaks.
Measles is described by medical experts as an infection of the respiratory system caused by a virus. Symptoms of the disease include rashes, cough, runny nose, fever and red eyes.
In a telephone interview with the Acting Regional Health Director, Dr Braimah Baba Abubakari, on Friday, January 13 by our Northern Region Correspondent, Christopher Amoako, he explained that the situation where children who had already received the vaccine but had contracted the disease may be due to a number of factors.
“The disease is highly contagious and spreads through fluids from an infected person’s nose or mouth and since vaccination is the most effective way to prevent the spread of the disease, its shortage can be problematic.”
On Monday, February 6, 3news.com sighted a memo addressed to health facilities in the Region, informing them of the outbreak of the virus.
“Given the current season, which presents one of the greatest risks for the transmission of measles, District Health Directorates and Facilities (both public and private) are urged to intensify surveillance on measles and other diseases of epidemic potential for prompt action should they occur.
“Districts and facilities are kindly requested to conduct prompt investigations and collect blood samples for laboratory confirmation. You are also expected to continue to intensify public education on the prevention of measles and other epidemic-prone diseases.”
The memo continued: “All MM/DDHS must ensure that their epidemic preparedness and response (EPR) plans for measles are updated accordingly and copies submitted to the Regional Health Directorate through the Disease Surveillance Unit on or before Friday, February 10, 2023.”
In Ghana, babies are immunised against measles when they are nine months old. They are eligible for another dose when they reach 18 months.
However, in what seems to be a recent outbreak, it appears that many babies are getting infected with the disease before they are nine months.