The Burundian government on Tuesday started a measles vaccination campaign for children, the health minister announced.
Thaddee Ndikumana officially launched a four-day campaign in Cankuzo province, 300 kilometers (186 miles) from the capital Bujumbura near the Tanzanian border.
“At least 570,466 children between six and 59 months will be vaccinated as part of the campaign,” Ndikumana said.
The campaign will start from Dec. 15 to Dec. 18 in 14 health districts across the country. The vaccination campaign is coupled with a wide distribution of nutritional supplements (vitamin A) to children aged between one and 14 years.
“Vaccination is free, so we want every child to be vaccinated because measles is a fatal disease that spreads quickly,” he said.
Burundi has been facing a spike in measles cases since November 2019.
According to the World Health Organization, at least 857 confirmed measles cases were reported last April in four districts: Cibitoke (624 cases) in the west, Butezi (221 cases) and Cankuzo (6 cases) in the east as well as Bujumbura Sud (6 cases).