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Ethiopia: UN Backs Mass Measles Immunization

Ethiopia: UN Backs Mass Measles Immunization Amid Concern At New Cases

A mass United Nations-backed measles immunization campaign is currently underway in Ethiopia, targeting more than 5.8 million children aged under the age of 5 following growing fears earlier this year over the rise in new cases of the disease.

The first phase of the campaign was conducted from May to June targeting about 5.7 million children from 6 to 59 months with 91 per cent coverage amid increased concern that the numbers of new cases could be the result of low levels of routine immunization in 2005 with only 59 per cent coverage.

Over 70 cases occurred from March to September 2006 in Addis Ababa, the capital. Some 1,350 cases have been reported from other areas from August to November as news of fresh outbreaks comes in.

The campaign is being carried out by federal and regional health bureaus in collaboration with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the UN World Health Organization (WHO).

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