GENEVA, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) is helping with a vaccination campaign in Nigeria to immunize more than 874,000 people against yellow fever, the UN agency said on Monday.
The Nigerian government has launched a 10-day campaign beginning from Friday to immunize 873,837 people against yellow fever in the states of Kwara and Kogi, located in western and central Nigeria respectively. The last yellow fever outbreak in Nigeria was reported in 2002, with 20 cases and 11 deaths.
The campaign is mobilizing more than 200 health workers and volunteers to target residents aged from nine months to 45 years old. The WHO has been working with local health authorities on its implementation.
"This campaign aims to ensure that people living in high-risk areas are protected from yellow fever, and to prevent the disease from spreading to other parts of the country," said WHO Nigeria Representative Dr. Wondimagegnehu Alemu.
Nigeria has requested support from the International Coordination Group on vaccine provision for yellow fever. A global stockpile of 6 million doses of vaccine is available for countries to access, with the support of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The WHO and health partners have been supporting Nigeria's response to the outbreak since the first case of yellow fever was confirmed in Kwara state on Sept. 12. Since then the WHO has deployed experts to the country to support surveillance and investigation, lab testing, public health measures, and engagement with at-risk communities.