Increasing Measles Immunization Coverage in Borno State Nigeria: Some Policy Options

This brief examines two measles immunization programs for children of age 9-23 months in an effort to boost measles immunization coverage in Borno State: free immunization against measles with media awareness campaign and free immunization against measles with house to house campaign.

Publication Date: November, 2013

Volume Number: 1 Issue 9

Document Size: 4 pages

Measles remains one of the leading causes of infant morbidity and mortality in Nigeria. Despite the efforts made by the Nigerian government, policymakers and other stakeholders to increase children vaccination against infections, measles vaccination coverage remains very low. This situation is particularly profound in the Northern part of the country, with Borno State requiring urgent attention. Therefore, this policy brief presents a summary of a policy simulation study of two measles immunization programs for children of age 9-23 months which can be used to boost measles immunization coverage in Borno State. These programs are free immunization against measles with media awareness campaign (Policy A) and free immunization against measles with house to house campaign (Policy B). 

Overall, the results reveal that providing free immunization against measles complemented with media awareness campaign is more effective and beneficial than free immunization complemented with house to house visitation. However, for government to significantly increase measles immunization coverage, reduce measles induced death as well as make significant progress towards the attainment of Millenium Development Goal (MDG) 4 in Borno State, the existing policy of free immunization should be complemented with house to house campaign in the rural areas which are characterized by high levels of illiteracy. Similarly, in the urban areas where most people are educated, the free immunization programme should be supported with media awareness campaigns.