As new cases detected in NW: Health minister calls for urgent action to tackle measles spread.

The Minister of Public Health, Dr Manaouda Malachie, has called on health officials in the North West Region, to roll urgent moves to tackle the new cases of measles that have been discovered in the Region.

The Minister’s instruction is contained in a recent note he addressed to the Regional Delegate of Public Health for the North West Region, putting all health workers and the general population on high alert.

Measles, it should be said, is an acute contagious respiratory illness that causes fever, cough and red eyes. Three new cases of the disease were confirmed in the Bamenda III District Hospital during the 27th Epidemiological Week. 

The Minister, in the note, requested that urgent action be taken to combat the disease in the Region. 

“I have the honor to request that you take urgent action in accordance with standard operating procedures for managing the measles outbreak in strict compliance…,” the Minister said.

He also instructed the Regional Delegate to inform all the Chiefs of Health Districts to investigate, within 48 hours and submit a report within the week.

They are also expected to orgainise a local response to the measles cases, update and transmit the list weekly, ensure the collection of throat swabs from all the cases in the acute phase of the disease and ensure effective case management.

Measles is an infectious disease which can be spread easily from one person to another, through cough or sneeze. The measles virus is transmitted through respiratory secretions or airborne droplets from the nose, mouth, or throat of an infected person.

Health Research shows that, the symptoms usually appear seven to 14 days after exposure to the virus and include fever, cough, runny nose, red, watery eyes and a rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body. 

In severe cases, complications can include pneumonia, blindness, brain damage and death. This is the second time this year that the outbreak of measles is being reported in the Region, after some cases were reported in January.

Cameroon is said to have recorded about 3,217 measles cases in 2022 and medics are hoping that there will be a decrease in the figures this year as compared to previous years.

By Ndula Willet - Journalism student on internship

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