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Open Access Correspondence

A locally initiated and executed measles outbreak response immunization campaign in the nylon health district, Douala Cameroon 2011

Gerald Etapelong Sume1*, André Arsène Bita Fouda1, Marie Kobela2, Salomé Nguelé3, Irène Emah2 and Peter Atem1

Author Affiliations

1 Regional Delegation of Public Health for the Littoral, PO Box 106, Douala, Cameroon

2 The Central Technical Group for the Expanded Programme on Immunization, PO Box 2084, Yaoundé, Cameroon

3 Nylon Health District Service, PO Box 5458, Douala, Cameroon

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BMC Research Notes 2013, 6:100  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-6-100

Published: 16 March 2013


The Cameroon health system is divided into central, intermediate and peripheral levels. Of the 43 health districts with a measles outbreak in Cameroon in 2011, only the Nylon Health District organized a documented outbreak response immunization. We present the methods and results of the response campaign solely shouldered by the district and intermediate level. The risk group, targets and neighborhoods to be vaccinated were identified after a detailed analysis of initial cases. The intermediate level defined strategies, provided logistics, capacity building and 41% of the operational budget while 59% was completed by the peripheral level. Microsoft Office Excel 2007 was used to estimate coverage rates and to draw an epidemic curve. The response immunization campaign was organized on the 14th epidemiological week, 10 weeks after the onset of the outbreak which ended 11 weeks thereafter. A total of 15867(108.5%) children aged 9-59 months were vaccinated in five health areas at a direct cost (vaccines excluded) of 71.34FCFA ($0.143) per vaccinated child. An additional 824 children aged 9-59 months were vaccinated around the residence of notified cases in neighborhoods which were not involved in the response campaign. The number of cases after the response campaign was lower than before. Once vaccines are available, prompt outbreak response campaigns can be organized at operational level to obtain commendable results instead of depending solely on international organizations or central levels. Decision makers at the intermediate and operational levels should redeploy available funds during emergencies to prevent the development of extreme public health conditions.

Measles; Outbreak; Response immunization campaign; Nylon health district