From Idongesit Inyang
Cross River State Government has said it is attaching 100 per cent attention on the issue of vaccination and immunisation even as it flags off the 2022 Integrated Measles Campaign and targeting 700,000 children.
There will also be 100 per cent coverage and the campaign process will be decentralized to take place in markets, worship centres and schools to make sure no child who falls within the ages of 0 to five years is missed out.
The children would be vaccinated not just against measles but against rota virus and COVID-19, free of charge, even as the campaign runs from November 3 to 10, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, director general, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency (CRSPHCDA), has disclosed.
Midweek Pioneer gathered that the rota virus is a very contagious virus that causes diarrhea and other intestinal symptoms in infants and other young children worldwide.
Speaking at the event, Ekpenyong said measles was one of the major causes of infant and child mortality.
She noted that it is the reason why every two to four years, they carry out an integrated measles campaign to bridge the gap in terms of children who missed the routine immunisation.
Ekpenyong also used the opportunity to commend the Federal and State Government for the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine, adding, “Before now, the rotavirus vaccines was a scarce commodity.”
She explained that the only place one could get it was in private health facilities after paying as much as N12,000.
“So, we are excited that the Federal Government has made it possible that every child in Nigeria within the ages of 0 to 5 would be vaccinated not just against measles but against rotavirus free of charge,” the director general further said.
On his part, Dr. Salisu Ibrahim, representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO), said Cross River government was providing good leadership in the health sector but could do more with adequate support.
Ibrahim said while WHO is supporting the state in training healthcare workers and vaccine logistics, other stakeholders should assist the state to enhance its vaccination process.
Flagging off the campaign, the deputy governor of Cross River, Professor Ivara Esu, asserted that the issue of immunisation and vaccination were very dear to the state.
Esu said even though measles was a very dangerous disease for children, its seeming increase and occurrence among children was becoming alarming and must be checked.
Hear him, “Today, people are no longer worried about COVID-19. So, they no longer wear masks or observe social distancing. This is enhancing the spread of preventable diseases that would have easily been prevented.
“We urge parents whose children were from 0 to 5 years of age, who have missed this vaccine, to come forward and ensure that their wards are vaccinated against measles and diarrhea, while adults avail themselves of COVID-19 vaccination,” Esufurther stated.
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