person_pin Okey Onwuka
query_builder November 19, 2019 14:20:45

By Chisom Okpala :

Isuaniocha (Awka North LGA), Nov. 19, 2019 (MOI) Anambra State Government has lunched the 2nd dose of measles vaccine introduction into routine immunisation.

The event, which took place at Primary Healthcare Centre, Isuaniocha, was flagged-off by Gov. Willie Obiano, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Nkem Okeke.

Stressing the importance of preventing diseases, the Governor called on parents to take their children to the nearest Primary Healthcare Centres to receive the vaccines.

``Lets take advantage of the support from WHO, UNICEF, NPHCDA and other development partners to immunise our children against killer diseases.’’

Commenting on Anambra’s continued lead in health service delivery the Governor said that measures to achieve improved health system in the state had been provided.

He urged health workers to ensure that every child gets vaccinated.

Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Mr Fashai Shaibu represented by Dr Emmanuel Chidama described the measles vaccine 2nd dose as a milestone achievement.

``It is also a second opportunity in addition to measles vaccine that has been administered to a child in nine months.

``The measles vaccine is free and safe, and it should be given to every child that deserves it.’’

State Coordinator WHO, Dr Chukwumuanya Igboekwu on behalf of the developing partners in Anambra, assured the people of their support to the state toward meeting its health obligations.

``Immunisation is one of the cardinal programmes that promote child health.

``About N100 million has been budgeted to ensure immunisation success and no fewer than 1,000 health workers have been trained to carry out this exercise across the 21 Local Government Areas in Anambra.’’

Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala represented by Permanent Secretary, Mr John Ndibe commended Government for continued support to the state’s health sector.

``The establishment of Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) and functional Anambra Health Insurance Scheme has gone a long way in strengthening the health sector and also continues to impact positively in lives of Ndi Anambra.’’

Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu described measles as one of the childhood killer diseases that occur in epidemics and highly contagious.

``Before now, measles’ vaccination (MCV) was given at nine months but it has been proved that a single dose of MCV is not enough to attain at least 95 per cent coverage.

``With only about 85 per cent of children who receive MCV seroconvert, thereby creating a gap in achieving the required immunity level to the virus.’’

Dr Ezenyimulu noted that the 2nd dose of the measles vaccine would be given at 15 months and would extend children's eligibility for immunisation to 23 months.

``Mothers and caregivers should avail their children aged 0-23 months the opportunity to receive the vaccine.

``Health workers will be at every primary healthcare centres and designated posts in communities to administer MCV, as well as other routine immunisation antigens.’’ (MOI)