Since December 2022, a Measles outbreak has spread throughout a number of areas in South Africa. Measles is a childhood disease that is highly contagious but is prevented with an effective and safe vaccine. South African public health clinics vaccinate babies ages six and 12 months for measles during routine visits. However, low vaccine coverage has caused this most recent outbreak to spread quickly. 

As part of the outbreak response, we have been running Measles vaccination drives— literally— in our Wellness Wagon, at all of our preschools and in our community for children six months to 15 years old. 

At our ECD sites, our health team already provides six-monthly growth monitoring, development milestone assessment, deworming and vitamin A provision. Since these programmes are integrated, it made it easy for us to offer the Measles vaccination as part of the routine health visits. 

The Department of Health offered vaccinations at all of the government primary schools in our area, but for children who were not in attendance that day, we ensured they also got the vaccination. 

Bulungula Incubator Measles vaccination drive in our new Wellness Wagon, 07 February 2023.

Additionally, we have shared an awareness campaign on the measles outbreak. The Department of Health created educational notices in English, but they were unavailable in isiXhosa. We translated the information and shared them on our Bulungula Community Radio, in our BCR WhatsApp group, and health group networks and printed and hung them around our community. Printable notices are available here

We have not identified any serious cases yet, but our Nomakhayas and Health Point are alert and ready to respond if necessary.