From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
THE Director of Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency (DSPHCDA), Dr. Winful Orieke decried the adverse of the unsubstantiated rumour of killer vaccines on routine immunisation exercise in the state.
Orieke told newsmen in Asaba that cloud of pessimism still hangs despite clarification by the government that there was no free military medical programme (currently) in state.
He noted that the rumour on so-called killer vaccines could significantly hamper the turnout for already planned immunization exercises across the state with the possibility of fuelling the outbreak of vaccines protected diseases.
Orieke however assured that the agency and the Ministry of Health were already putting measures in place to dispel completely the killer vaccine rumour as well as “carrying out mobilization and awareness campaign on the forthcoming immunization,” which is expected to hold in the state by the middle of November.
“All modalities aimed at building trust on immunization programmes among the populace are being put in place to protect our children from vaccine protective diseases,” Orieke said, urging parents not to toy with the life and health of their children.
He explained that the ongoing free medical interventions by the army in south-eastern parts of the country as “part of the routine practice of their Free Medical Outreach,” noting that the exercise involved mainly blood sugar and high blood pressure screening in communities and not schools.
“Military has no business with vaccination of children and there is no way they could have carried out such exercise without collaborating with the Ministry of Health and primary healthcare development agencies across the country,” he said.
Orieke observed that the killer vaccination rumour emanated from poor awareness creation on the part of the military authorities before commencement of the exercise, adding that the rumour was apparently aggravated by the ‘Operation Python Dance’ military exercise in the South-East as well as the outbreak of monkey pox in some states.
“Apparently, if the military free medical intervention was well publicized like they did with the Operation Python Dance, proper awareness would have been created and people would have been well informed,” he posited.
Orieke pointed out that effective collaboration of the military and Ministry of Health would have gone a long way in averting the poisonous vaccination rumour, adding that the military has never engaged themselves in the business of vaccination of children and were not vaccinating children anywhere in the country at the moment.