By: Okafor, Judd-Leonard
A Nigerian agency has expressed concern about the nation’s vulnerability to the yellow fever virus following a recent outbreak in six districts of Cameroon bordering Cross River state. The National Primary Health Care Development Agency says as many as 101 million Nigerians are at risk of a possible outbreak of yellow fever. Nigeria is the only country in West Africa that has yet to conduct mass vaccination. Although a mass vaccination program is planned to start by 2013, it will take up to five years to complete due to the country’s large population. The World Health Organization (WHO) called it “one of the biggest campaigns ever” for which the country has to be ready. “Even one laboratory-confirmed case of yellow fever is an outbreak by itself,” warned Dr. Goitom Weldegebriel of the WHO.