The Oyo State Government has ordered the state Ministry of Health to begin emergency immunisation of children in the state after five persons were confirmed to have been killed by measles.

A anonymous source said that all the deaths were recorded in the Sabo area of Ibadan, where many citizens from the northern part of the state reside.

Two weeks ago, the state government had announced that children would be immunised against measles between January 28 and February 1, 2016.

But the latest directive signified the severity of the disease in the state and the determination of the government to quickly arrest it from spreading to other parts of the state.

The state Ministry of Health will begin vaccination against measles on January 19, 2016, instead of the earlier scheduled date of January 28, 2016. This is informed by the death of five people because of the disease. The state is committed to safeguarding the lives of the citizens, which informed the directive to begin the vaccination ahead of time.

The state Chief Health Educator, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Olawoyin, had earlier said that the exercise would target children from nine months to 59 months and that thousands of children would be given the vaccine.

She recalled that in 2015, 761 blood samples from children were taken to the laboratory, as part of the state measles surveillance activity. We had 9.7 per cent of the number with negative result while 3.7 per cent tested positive for measles. The number of children who tested positive in 491 cases in 2014 was 2.2 per cent while in 2013, 15.3 per cent of 567 blood samples belonging to children tested positive to it.