Some 500 children have died in Nigeria's northern state of Katsina as a result of an outbreak of measles this year.
Ahmad Qabasiyu, director of Katsina State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, told reporters at the state capital Katsina on Tuesday that "21,000 cases of measles have been recorded since the beginning of this year."
In view of the impact of the disease, preparations for a massive immunization against measles were being made, he said.
According to Qabasiyu, a statewide immunization drive would commence during the December 6-10 period.
The director said 2.5 million children aged nine months to 15 years, representing 42 percent of the state's population would be immunized.
"To this end, a total of 1,907 immunization centers have been mapped out for the exercise across the state," he said, adding that 13,000 personnel have been recruited.
The director said about 3 million vaccines had been secured, while the training of immunization officials had commenced in five zonal centers in Daura, Katsina, Dutsin-Ma, Kankia and Funtua. Qabasiyu also appealed to parents to immunize their children against measles, describing it as "a deadly disease."