A total of 35 million doses of measle vaccines, syringes and safety boxes have arrived in Nigeria for a mass campaign against the ailment in December, a statement of World Health Organization (WHO) issued here Friday said.
"The consignment will be distributed in the three northern zones that would conduct the campaign from Dec. 6-10, 2005," the statement said.
The Nigerian government through the National Program on Immunization (NPI) and in collaboration with states and local governments was making preparations to launch "the world's largest ever measles campaign," it said.
Measles was still endemic in Nigeria and was a major cause of childhood illness and death, according to the statement.
The official statistics showed at least 35,856 children were hit by measles in the country between January and August 2004.
Eyitayo Lambo, Nigerian health minister said, given the size and scale of the campaign, the world would be watching Nigeria's efforts to reduce measles morbidity and mortality through its " first mass measles campaign."
Lambo assured that the federal government was fully committed to strengthening routine immunization to improve overall child health, adding that "reaching every child nine months to 15 years will be essential to ensure measles deaths are reduced to zero."
The campaign would bring together thousands of people, nearly 133,000 health workers, together with religious and traditional leaders, teachers, and other respected community members who would be involved in the execution of the programs.
Nigerian government has committed more than 13 million US dollars to protect the health of child against measles, Lambo said.