Updated 12 June 2017

Measles outbreak in Joburg leads to immunisation campaign

The campaign aiming to prevent the spread of this highly contagious disease is running according to plan.


Ongoing efforts by the Gauteng Health Department to vaccinate a million children against measles has reached its “epicentre”.

The campaign, which kicked off on May 15 and runs until the end of this month, was launched to address a sudden measles outbreak in Johannesburg.

Measles is common in children under two years of age.

Rigorous efforts

Health MEC (Member of the Mayoral Committee) in the City of Johannesburg, Dr Mpho Phalatse recently visited Region E's three clinics to check on the progress that had been made.

Phalatse said the current campaign was a once-off event and did not impact on any routine immunisation programmes, nor did participating children have to come back for more injections.

Health24 previously reported that the prevalence of measles in South Africa has declined in the past decade through rigorous efforts to vaccinate all children. 


      A poster advertising the measles immunisation campaign currently running in Gauteng until the end of this month.

“This is called a herd immunisation, meaning we want to vaccinate enough pupils to render protection to those who have not been immunised because communicable diseases like measles spread fast," she said.

An intervention

Outstanding vaccination rates have been achieved in some provinces – namely the Western Cape and Gauteng.

The campaign is targeting children from six months old to the age of 15. One of the nurses who is familiar with the campaign and routine immunisation further clarified that the campaign is an intervention to address the current outbreak while routine immunisation was continuing as normal. 

Meanwhile parents were encouraged to sign and return the consent forms for the campaign to run effectively and ensure that their children receive the immunisation that will protect them from contracting measles.

Read more:

Causes of measles

Diagnosing measles

Treating measles


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