Overcrowding, taboos, superstitions and lack of good nutrition have been attributed to an increase in the prevalence of measles cases in some parts of the State of Osun.
Mrs. Esther Oke, a retired Chief Nursing Officer during a chat with OSUN DEFENDER said, overcrowding in most of the densely populated areas of the state coupled with bad hygiene practices amongst people also contribute in no small measure to the spread of this disease which the state government and international health agencies have been trying for years to eradicate.
She stated that although the state government commits funds to making sure measles, which is one of the six childhood killer diseases is completely eradicated, bad practices amongst the people still contribute to the disease resurfacing from time to time.
According to her, “it is not that these people are not counseled when they come to health facilities, it is that there is high level of illiteracy, ignorance, beliefs in superstition and taboos, bad hygiene and poverty amongst the people.
“At times, these problems can be overcome but many of them cannot overcome this problems because they do not have the financial resources to keep healthy.
“We must not forget that it is our children who are susceptible to this disease especially those between the ages of 0 through 5 years. They are the ones in the catchment years and are prone to getting the disease.
“With immunization, it can be prevented and the child would be protected for life. Measles vaccines are given to infants at the age of 9 months. It must not be taken before the baby gets to that age”.
She stressed that measles can be eradicated from the state if the people are committed to giving their children a balanced diet and ensure that they are given vaccines to combat the disease before they pass the age of 5.
Other actions that can be taken to prevent measles, Oke revealed, include, maintaining a high level of personal hygiene.
“Maintaining a high level of hygiene means taking care of utensils, cutleries, keeping the environment clean, washing every dirty clothes, ensuring the toilets and bathrooms are cleaned, using clean and safe water.
“Also, houses should have good ventilation. It is important for every home to be cross-ventilated. It is unfortunate that most people do not know the importance of cross ventilation. Germs and bacteria tend to thrive in warm, humid and moist habitations but with cross-ventilation, such places would be exposed to fresh air and sunlight at all times.
Oke also advised that parents should monitor their children’s temperature and if high temperature persists for more than three days, a physician should be sought.
“The parents should take the child to an hospital so that appropriate treatment will be given immediately.