March 1962

Measles in Nigeria

Author Affiliations

D. C. Morley, M.D., London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Applied Nutrition Unit, London, England.; London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, formerly at Child Health Unit of the West African Council for Medical Research, Wesley Guild Hospital, Ilesha, West Nigeria.

Am J Dis Child. 1962;103(3):230-233. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1962.02080020242007

This paper seeks to establish that measles is one of the major hazards of childhood in West Africa. At present measles in tropical Africa does not run the same course as in Europe and North America. Experience of the disease there is similar to that of doctors who wrote on measles in Europe a hundred years ago.

The material on which this paper is based comes from 2 sources: a longitudinal study of 400 children in an African village, which is in its fifth year, and an analysis of 1,232 cases of measles and its sequelae, which formed 19% of 6,815 child admissions to the hospital at Ilesha over a period of 3 years. The mortality in hospital was about 25%.

Nigeria is a large country, with a population of 40 million, and includes desert, tropical forest, and swamp. Ilesha lies in a tropical rain forest area, 74 miles from

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