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Cameroon Conducts Major Yellow Fever Vaccination Campaign

Cameroon's Ministry of Health has carried out a yellow fever mass vaccination campaign with a reported 94% coverage of the targeted population of 663,900 in 13 health districts considered to be at high risk for yellow fever, according to the World Heath Organization (WHO).

The UN health agency said the vaccination campaign was carried out between August 27 to September 1, 2013 in the Littoral Region, following laboratory-confirmation of two cases with yellow fever in the area in April 2013. The index case was a 43-year-old woman from Ndom Health district who became ill on March 15, 2013.

"The patients were laboratory confirmed at the Institute Pasteur of Cameroon by IgM ELISA (antibody) test, which was followed by the seroneutralizing test (PRNT) for yellow fever by the Institute Pasteur in Dakar, Senegal, a WHO regional reference laboratory for yellow fever," the agency said in a statement.

The suspected yellow fever cases were reported from Cameroon's South-West area in 2012. The cases were identified as part of the surveillance system which identifies patients with fever and jaundice within 14 days of onset.

WHO country office in Cameroon has been working with health authorities in the field investigation and response to the outbreak, with an ongoing surveillance for yellow fever in the African country.

The GAVI Alliance and the International Coordinating Group on Yellow Fever Vaccine Provision (YF-ICG1) supported the reactive mass vaccination campaign. The health districts considered to be at high risk for yellow fever are Dibombari, Edea, Loum, Manjo, Manoka, Mbanga, Melong, Ndom, Ngambe, Nkondjock, Nkongsamba, Pouma and Yabass.

The YF-ICG is a partnership that manages the stockpile of yellow fever vaccines for emergency response on the basis of a rotation fund. It is represented by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and WHO, which also serves as the Secretariat. The stockpile was created by GAVI Alliance.

by RTT Staff Writer

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