Measles cases down dramatically, report shows

National, Normal

PAPUA New Guinea has reduced its incidence of measles cases among infants (six months) and six years olds by 85% over a five-year period, a report by the Health Department’s extended programme on immunisation (EPI) has revealed.
According to EPI statistics, the reduction had been attributed to the ongoing support from stakeholders towards the supplementary immunisation activity (SIA) roll-out programme which started in 2003.
PNG recorded 18,000 cases in 2002, the second highest after 19,000 cases were recorded in 1986.
EPI manager Steven Toikilik produced the report which showed that since the introduction of SIA, the number of cases of measles had diminished.
Last year, only 1,000 cases were reported.
“If you look at the measles coverage and the reported cases, it tells you that coverage is not that good but the incidence has reduced dramatically.
“For the SIA result for last year, we aimed to vaccinate 1,148,685 children (95%) of six months to six years and 11 months,” he said
Mr Toikilik said the SIA was able to vaccinate three quarters of the target population 958,090 (83%) from 2003 to last year.