From Paul Orude, Bauchi
In spite of the outbreak of Cholera in Bauchi State which has so far claimed over 50 lives, people of the state are rejecting vaccination against the disease.
The disclosure was made by the Executive Chairman of Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA), Dr Rilwanu Mohammed.
Mohammed made the disclosure while giving an overview of the cholera situation during the official flagging off of the vaccination by the state governor, Sen Bala Mohammed at the Banquet Hall of the Government House on Wednesday.
Hr lamented that though the people had been told of the importance of the vaccination to protect them against infection, the vaccines have been rejected.
He said that some people even went to the extent of chasing away the facilitators of the vaccination.
He said that the Federal Government has donated 1.5 million doses of the vaccine to the state government which will be administered to a total of 750,000 people in two doses each.
Mohammed appealed to traditional rulers to talk to their subjects on the need to be vaccinated.
He further appealed to religious leaders to educate their adherents on the importance of the vaccination in order to reduce the rate of infection.
He said that Bauchi, Ningi and Toro Local Government Areas were the worst hit by the outbreak.
While flagging off the vaccination exercise, Bauchi State Governor Bala Mohammed, who took a drop of the oral vaccine, called on the people of the state to seize the opportunity offered by allowing themselves to be vaccinated against the killer disease.
The governor said that ‘since the outbreak of the cholera, I directed that all the victims should be treated free of charge as the government will provide all that is needed for such treatment. We thank our development partners for their prompt response to the call for action against the outbreak.’
He called on the people of the state to as a matter of necessity release themselves to take the vaccination against the disease because according to him it is the only means to prevent spread of the infection.
Governor Mohammed assured that government will soon make available the sum of N45m to enable the volunteers to go to the nooks and crannies of the state with the campaign to enlighten the populace on the need to take the vaccination.
He further directed that the BASPHCDA should take charge of the funds and make it available to all the volunteers across the state stressing that everything possible must be done to keep the state and its people healthy.
The governor, while tracing the cause of the outbreak of Cholera to lack of good water, hygiene and sanitation, said that the water project is at 65% completion while the relevant agencies have been charged to ensure improvement on water, sanitation and hygiene among the people.
In his remarks, the Emir of Bauchi, Dr Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, assured the governor that the traditional rulers in the state will do everything possible to ensure that the programme succeeded.