All parents in the Western Highlands Province whose children have not been immunised against measles are urged to take them to the nearest hospital or health centre to be immunised immediately.
An outbreak of measles has been reported in West Sepik Province and health authorities in Western Highlands fear it will inevitably spread into the province in the next few weeks or months and all precautionary measures must be taken.
The Health Department has announced that due to the seriousness of the disease, all children aged six months to two years who have not been immunised must be taken to the nearest hospital or health centre to be immunised.
The last outbreak of measles in the country occurred in 2014 and in the Western Highlands, 14 children died from the disease while thousands of other children were infected.
Immunisation teams were sent to all parts of the province but not all children up to two years had been immunised and the likelihood of the virus spreading again is inevitable.
As a precautionary measure, the Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority is urging parents with children aged between 2 and 5 years to also have them immunised if they have not been immunised yet.
Measles is a very contagious disease that can spread through coughing and sneezing. The virus causes infection of the respiratory system which cannot be treated.
The only protection the body has is through immunisation but it must be given several weeks in advance in order for the body to prepare its immune system to fight against the disease.
The Western Highlands Provincial Health Authority is concerned about the spread of this disease and is appealing to all parents to have their children immunised if they have not been immunised yet.
The Authority is also organising immunisation teams to visit all four districts of the province and set themselves up at markets and other public places to immunise those who cannot make it to their nearest health facilities.