Burden and Trend of Measles in Nigeria: Five-year Review Case-base Surveillance Data

Ibrahim S. Baffa, Yahaya Mohammed, Rabi Usman, Aisha Abubakar, Patrick Nguku



We reviewed measles specific Integretaged Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) data from Nigeria over a five-year period to highlights its burden and trends, and make recommendations for improvements.


Measles is a vaccine preventable, highly transmissible viral infection that affects mostly under-five year children. The disease is caused by a Morbillivirus; member of the Paramyxovirus family.


We conducted a secondary data analysis of measles specific IDSR records of all States in Nigeria from January 2012 to September 2016. The record had reported measles cases with laboratory outcomes from all the States. IDSR weekly epidemiological data were obtained from Surveillance Unit, Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).


A total of 131,732 cases were recorded within the period. Highest number of cases 57,892(43.95%) were recorded in 2013 while the least number of cases 11,061(8.4%) were recorded in 2012. A total of 817 deaths were recorded, given a case fatality rate (CFR) of 0.62%. The CFR showed a decreasing trend over the years with the highest CFR (1.43%) recorded in 2012 and the least CFR (0.44%) recorded in 2016. Only 8,916 (6.7%) cases were confirmed by laboratory investigation. The Northwest region recorded the highest attack rate (AR) of 149.7 cases per 100,000 population, followed by the Northeast region with 140.2 cases per 100,000 population, while the South-south region recorded the least AR of 15.8 cases per 100,000 population. Case Fatality Rate per region followed similar pattern, with the Northcentral region having the highest CFR of 4.38%. The trend of measles cases followed the same pattern. Cases peaked at March, then gradually reduced to lowest level at June.


Measles infection remains a burden especially in the northern region of Nigeria. Though measles fatalities were on decline over the years, laboratory diagnosis of cases has been suboptimal. We recommended improvement on routine immunization and measles case management, and strengthening of regional laboratories capacity for measles diagnosis.


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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/ojphi.v10i1.8756

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