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Mass measles immunisation campaign: efforts to reach the target group

In late 2013, an outbreak of measles in PNG led to the launch of a mass measles immunisation campaign in Western Province to prevent further transmission of the disease. The target group for the immunisation campaign was all people aged from 6 months to 20 years.

The CMCA Middle and South Fly Health Programme (CMSFHP) Patrol team recently travelled to the Kiwaba CMCA Region to provide outreach clinic services and measles immunisation for the target group. The Kiwaba CMCA Region consists of many islands at the mouth of the Fly River. The patrol started at the Wabada Island and ended at the Kiwai Island.

While there was supplementary immunisation activity in 2012, where measles immunisation was provided across PNG, the remote location of the islands in the Kiwaba Region and the lack of a health service meant not all children had been immunised previously. The Kiwaba Region currently has no open health facility.

The people in Kiwaba live a nomadic lifestyle and travel to search for food, trade and feast in different villages. The CMSFHP Patrol Team consequently travelled to sago and fishing camps to provide their services to the people. When parents heard of the patrol, they brought their children to the Patrol Team for vaccination. More than 1,000 people were immunised during the patrol with children also receiving albendazole for deworming and a vitamin A supplement.

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