A member of the Medical School Faculty will leave October 29 for Nigeria, where he will conduct a two-month vaccination program against measles, a major disease among the local children.
Working at the Wesley Guild Hospital in Ilesha, Nigeria, Dr. Samuel L. Katz, associate in Pediatrics, and his staff will initially vaccinate 20 native children to determine if any adverse reactions result. If this trial is successful, the program will eventually reach 4000 Nigerian children.
Dr. Katz and his associates are particularly enthusiastic about working in Nigeria because the country has an annual nine-month epidemic of measles. One out of four cases requires hospitalization, he said, and the mortality rate is ten per cent.
One of the reasons given by Dr. Katz for the widespread attacks is the general lack of protein in the diet of the people. Later studies of blood samples collected as part of the program will give further information about the causes, Dr. Katz noted.
The vaccine, a diluted solution of the virus, was developed by John F. Enders, professor of Bacteriology and Immunology at the Children's Hospital, and his associates. This vaccine produces immunity-insuring antibodies indistinguishable from those produced by a case of measles.
The medical team, which includes Dr. Katz, Dr. Saul Krugman of New York City, and Miss Ann Holloway of the Children's Hospital, received the invitation to conduct the program from the West African Council for Medical Research and the Wesley Guild Hospital.