Health  

NPHCDA begins six-day measles immunization in Southern states


The Federal Government through the Primary Health Care Agency (NPHCDA) will today begin the vaccination of children from the ages of nine months to five years in all Southern States of the country to forestall the outbreaks of measles.

The NPHCDA in a statement signed by Head, Public Relations Unit (HPRU), Saadu Salahu, noted: “… the implementation of 2017/2018 National Measles Campaign in the Southern States is scheduled to begin on Thursday March 1, 2018…”

In Ekiti State, the vaccination, which is in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF), and African Field Epidemiology Network, will take place in all the 16 local government councils from March 6 to 13, 2018.

One of the anchors of the programme and field Epidemiologist with the African Field Epidemiology Network, Dr. Adebayo Fashola, revealed that research had confirmed that no fewer than 9.7 million children died of measles annually across the globe.

The field epidemiologist spoke in Ado Ekiti during a Measles Vaccine Campaign workshop press briefing to herald the 2018 immunisation programme in Ekiti,
Fashola said that was why the governments in Nigeria were stepping up efforts to maintain the 95 per cent benchmark set for immunization spread among children between the ages of nine months and five years across the 36 states of the federation to bring down number of casualties.

Fashola said that 312 teams of experts have been assembled to carry out the exercise across the 16 local government areas of the state. He said the first phase of the immunization would be conducted in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti West, Efon, Ijero, Ikere Ikole , Ido/Osi and Irepodun/Ifelodun local governments .

While the second phase will be undertaken in Ekiti East, Emure, Ekiti South West, Ise/Orun, Ilejemeje, Gbonyin and Mobal Local Government Areas (LGAs).“For the programme to be a success, we are using all the primary healthcare facilities across the 177 wards in Ekiti and our experts will visit churches, mosques, schools, settlements and other centres to source for children to immunize.

“We are carrying out these routine vaccination exercises because we want to ensure that we grow the children population up to herd immunity level, where the number of children that were immunized will be enough to form a wall of defence for those that were not immunized.“Let us advise our mothers and care givers that the effects of not being immunized could be dire for any child. A lot of them have been killed in the process.

“The mandate given to us by the FG was that, we must reach 100 percent at the grassroots , 98 per cent at the state and 95 per cent at the federal levels .“This is a life virus vaccine that has lifetime effect on children. We are quite aware that there is no measles breakout in Ekiti but we must strive hard to protect such occurrence”, he said.He urged parents not to entertain fear about the adverse effect of the injectable vaccine, saying three referral centres have been designated to treat adverse situations.

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