Steps up fight against COVID-19
Disturbed by the rate of infant mortality due to measles infection, the Ekiti State government has said that it will embark on vaccination of no fewer than 320,000 children under the integrated measles campaign from October 20 to 26, 2022.
The government said that the beneficiaries ranged between age nine and 59 months, while those between the ages of 18 years and above would be vaccinated against COVID-19 infection as well.
The Primary Healthcare Agency’s Deputy State Immunisation Officer, Mrs. Omolabake Ogundola, who disclosed the planned measles campaign at a media parley yesterday, in Ado-Ekiti, urged parents, guardians and school owners to allow health workers vaccinate eligible children.
She said that the government was strategising on how every eligible children in the state would be vaccinated irrespective of their locations, which she said, warranted the long time allotted to the exercise.
Ogundola, who gave the assurance that all local councils in the state would be covered by health personnel, solicited the assistance of the residents for the agency to record more success in the exercise.
“The state government will be carrying out 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. 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 Governor Kayode Fayemi had approved all logistics that would positively enhance 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 paucity of funds to ensure that people of the state get best healthcare services. He said that the state heath sector had significant manpower and workforce to be successful in the exercise.
He said: “Usually, it is for children between zero and 12 months old but some of our children miss the vaccines and it is extended to 24 months. Even at 24 months, if there are still children that miss it, they still have a chance to take it between nine months and 59 months.
“The COVID-19 vaccine is for adults and they are required to take their doses during the exercise.”
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 exists and is causing damages but that its victims had been drastically reduced because of vaccination, urging parents, guardians and religious leaders to support the campaign and allow children to be vaccinated.