Measles in Southern Africa

Published: 2019-10-28 10:00:00
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Measles is considered as the deadliest childhood fever/rash illness. The disease is very contagious hence the need to protect children or adults against infection. In order to prevent these infections, there is need to vaccinate everyone. In normal situations, people are vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella, always referred to as MMR vaccine. In order to ensure complete protection, one needs two doses of the vaccine, which are to be taken at different times. For children, the first dose should be given to them at the age of between 12 to 15 months. The second dose can be prescribed 4 weeks after the first one, but is usually administered at the age between 4 and 6 years (Perry and Hasley, 2004).

According to Gardiner in the Journal of Laryngology and Otology, in situations of conflict and humanitarian emergency such as the ones in Southern African countries, measles infections are always expected to go up (Gardiner and W.T., 2007). Therefore, mass vaccination in such situations is very significant. The best approach which is also cost-effective is to bar epidemics fully by making sure that there is first dose routine vaccination coverage and another measles vaccination opportunity for each and every child. Vaccination campaigns are conducted in camps targeting children. There is also need to carry out measles early outbreak detection and surveillance in the affected areas as this will provide information on how to prevent the spread of the disease. Humanitarian emergencies vary depending on the different level of immunity of pre-existing population, which in turn impact the dangers of an outbreak. In many developed countries, measles has been kicked out as a result of; high quality and unrelenting efforts, and low cases of epidemics thanks to routine vaccination which remains the basis of the effort of control.

Many diseases such as measles and influenza are considered epidemic due to their high contagiousness. These diseases are still endemic in many countries, for example in Southern African countries where uptake of vaccination falls below the required level to curb the transmission cycle. The role of Center for Disease Control is to monitor outbreaks and transmission in different countries on a monthly basis by means of enhanced epidemic and surveillance intelligence activities. The fundamental requirement for the elimination of these diseases is the high uptake of vaccination with two doses of its vaccination. Strong outbreak control and effective surveillance is also of great importance. BSN nurses, many of whom are employed in health sector, have a vital role to play in instances where there is a threat of outbreak. According to the ICN Code of Ethics for Registered Nurses, nurses have the responsibility of offering care by use of appropriate safety measures during human-made or natural disasters, such as outbreak of communicable diseases.

Another role of nurses is to follow guidelines and rules set by the government. These guidelines are always available in websites and libraries. It is also a dusty of a professional nurse to make decisions that are fair and equitable in the allocation of resources to different affected places. They also have the mandate to set transparent priorities as much as they can. It is also necessary for them to safe, ethical and competent care to an extent that they can. Nurses can also advocate for measures that are least restrictive in cases where there is need to restrict the rights of an individual.

In conclusion, it is important for the health departments in countries where communicable diseases still pose outbreak risks to employ more BSN nurses to provide care in cases of diseases outbreak.

References

Gardiner, W.T. (2007). Otitis Media in Measles. The Journal of Laryngology and Otology.

Perry R.T., Hasley N.A. (May 1, 2004). The Clinical Significance of Measles: A Review. The Journal of Infectious Diseases.

The ICN Code of Ethics for Nurses. International Council of Nurses. 2006.

sheldon

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