Ethiopia has concluded a nationwide vaccination campaign against measles for millions of children.

The World Health Organisation said the country managed to vaccinate 14.4 million children in an anti-measles campaign that ran only for 10 days

The UN health agency said the large scale immunisation programme attained 96 percent coverage of the initial target.

“The total campaign’s target was 15 million children and it attained 14.4 million coverage showing that even with ongoing the Covid-19 pandemic countries can continue to carry out life-saving mass vaccinations,” WHO said in a statement.

The vaccination campaign was conducted by the Ministry of Health in collaboration with international partners “in an effort by the health authorities to maintain essential health services, even as they battle to contain the Covid-19 pandemic,” officials said.

“By taking the appropriate measures, we can continue to provide essential services while striving to end this pandemic. Millions of children are at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases and waiting for the end of Covid-19 to restart immunisation campaigns is a gamble we cannot afford,” Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa said.

The nationwide campaign was initially scheduled for April but was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the WHO, health workers were given training before launch of the vaccination that targeted children aged between 9 to 59 months.