The World Health Organization lists Nigeria as one of the nine African countries where measles outbreaks have occurred.
WHO, in a statement signed Wednesday by Collins Boaky-Agyaman, its spokesperson for Africa, lists other countries, including Chad, Cameroon, DR Congo, Liberia, Guinea, Madagascar, Mali and Uganda.
The World Health Organization said the global measles crisis is an urgent call to wake up the need for countries to ensure that all children, regardless of where they live, receive life-saving vaccines.
It states that African countries have survived a recurrence of measles outbreaks in the last 12 months, adding that Madagascar, in particular, had a large outbreak of measles affecting more than 122,000 cases in the months between October 2018 and April 2019 year.
Measles is a highly contagious disease, accounting for 13% of all cases of vaccination prevention in children under 5 in Africa, infecting nine out of ten people who are not vaccinated.
According to the WHO / UNICEF projections of 2017, only 16 countries in the World Health Organization's African Region have achieved 90% or more immunization coverage from the first dose of measles vaccine (MCV1).
Throughout the region, MCV1's coverage is stagnating – 70-73% since 2009.
At the beginning of the 9th week of vaccination in São Tomé and Príncipe on Wednesday, the immunization partners underlined the importance of countries that remain vigilant in the fight against vaccine-preventable diseases.
The theme for this year's Vaccination Week in Africa is: "Protected together: Vaccine work!", Emphasizing the strength of vaccines to save lives and maintain all healthy, from babies to adults.
The African vaccination week, from 22 to 28 April, also marks the vaccination heroes that help broaden the scope of immunization services across the African region – from parents and community leaders to health workers and innovators.
"We need to work together to improve the supply of immunizations so that all children can be protected from preventable diseases.The latest epidemics of diseases on the continent remind us of the urgency of this goal," says Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, says.
"The outbreak of measles in Madagascar and Ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo highlights the need to increase investment in immunization as a major part of strengthening primary health care systems," she said.
WHO said that vaccines are one of the most effective and cost-effective interventions in the field of public health. However, every fifth child in Africa still has no access to all necessary and basic vaccines that a child should receive.
The Authority says that more than 30 million children under 5 in Africa each year get ill due to vaccine-preventable diseases. Of these, more than half a million die – accounting for 56% of the world's deaths associated with vaccine-preventable diseases.
He pointed out that in Africa, vaccine-preventable diseases also impose an economic burden of $ 13 billion each year – a funding that can be used to save energy and stimulate development.
In 2017, the African heads of state endorsed the Addition Declaration on Immunization at the AU summit, committing themselves to reaching all children with life-saving vaccines.
While the political will for immunization in the region is high, WHO said that the African Vaccination Week 2019 is a reminder to the countries to renew their commitments and redouble their efforts to achieve universal access to vaccines.