From Priscilla Ediare, Ado Ekiti
As part of efforts to reduce infant deaths caused by measles infection, the Ekiti State Primary Health Care Agency is set to vaccinate 320,000 eligible children under the Integrated Measles Campaign beginning from October 20 to 26, 2022.
Beneficiaries include children between the ages of 9 to 59 months while those between the ages of 18 years and above will be vaccinated against COVID-19 infection .
The PHC’s Deputy State Immunisation Officer, Mrs Omolabake Ogundola, who made this known on Tuesday, in Ado-Ekiti, to herald the commencement of the planned campaign, advised parents, guardians and school owners to allow health workers in the state to vaccinate eligible children.
She noted that the government was strategising on how every eligible child in the state would be vaccinated irrespective of their location, which she said warranted the long time allotted to the exercise.
She gave an assurance that all local governments in the State would be covered by health personnel, soliciting the assistance of the residents for the agency to record more success in the exercise.
“The state government will be carrying out the Integrated Measles Campaign in October. What this means is that we will be combining measles vaccination with other routine vaccinations such as COVID-19 and others,” she said.
On the COVID-19 vaccination, she said the state government has paid its counterpart funding and met other requirements for the exercise to commence.
The Senior Health Officer noted that the state Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has approved all logistics that would positively enhance the smooth activities of the agency and the best preservation and use of vaccines.
Similarly, the Executive Secretary, of the agency, Dr Gilbert Seluwa, said that the state was spending heavily despite the paucity of funds in order to ensure that the people of the state get the best healthcare services.
The Executive Secretary said that the state health sector had significant manpower and workforce to be successful in the exercise.
The Executive Secretary said: “Usually it is for children between 0 and 12 months old but some of our children missed the vaccines and it is extended to 24 months. Even at 24 months, if there are still any children that missed it, they still have a chance to take it between 9 months and 59 months.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is for adults and they are required to take their doses during this exercise,” he said.
The Executive Secretary said that the World Health Organisation (WHO) was also supporting the security compromised areas in terms of logistics and safety of health officials alongside security logistics provided by the agency.
He explained that COVID-19 was existing and causing damages but that its victim had been drastically reduced because of vaccination, urging parents, guardians, and religious leaders to support the campaign and allow children to be vaccinated.