As part of effort to build clinical immunity against and prevent outbreak of measles in three Yoruba-speaking states of Southwest, Nigeria, namely, Ogun, Osun and Ondo states, governments of the respective states are targeting over 2.6 million children under ages of five in the ongoing house-to-house immunization exercise.
While Osun state has the largest number of children – 1.2 million to be immunized in the exercise, both Ogun and Ondo states have 736,000 and 700,000 children respectively, targeted in the clinical immunization against measles, just as vaccination teams and World Health Organization monitors had been deployed to every nook and cranny of the three states.
In Ondo state, Wahab Adegbenro, Commissioner for Health, disclosed that the immunization exercise was possible since the State government had already paid N16.7 million as Counterpart fund for Immunization exercise to take place free of charge for the children between nine months and five years, deploying 992 vaccination teams, each of them is made up of two vaccinators, two recorders, one town crier, one mobilizer and one crowd controller.
Adegbenro said the first phase would cover ten Local Government Areas of the State which are, Ese-Odo, Okitipupa, Odigbo, Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo, Ilaje, Irele, Ondo East, Ondo West, Idanre and Ifedore as from 8th to 13th March, 2018, while the second phase would be the turn of Ose, Owo, Akoko North East, Akoko North West, Akoko South East, Akoko South West, Akure North and South between 15th to 20th, March 2018.
Olasunkanmi Isamotu, the Commissioner for Health in Osun state, who spoke through Kayode Adebayo Ogunniyi, Executive Secretary, Osun State Primary Health Board, noted that 1.2 million children would be vaccinated in Osun state against measles, saying the religious bodies, schools and parents should support government to fight outbreak of measles across the state.
In Ogun state, Governor Ibikunle Amosun, who was represented at the inauguration of 2018 Measles Vaccination Campaign by Yetunde Onanuga, Deputy Governor, said, “Government at the Federal and State levels are putting in place all these measures to ensure prompt and efficient health care services, and let me implore parents, especially our mothers and care givers to accept these measles vaccines to be administered on their children and wards so as to boost and improve their immunity and prevent them from being infected.”
On his part, the Commissioner for Health, Babatunde Ipaye, said intervention such as vaccination exercise, was deliberately designed to impact directly on the overall health of the citizenry.
He added that in order to ensure that all eligible children were captured in the exercise; the State had trained 11,168 health workers to provide services in all the 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas, and was supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with 80 Monitors to guarantee quality service delivery.
RAZAQ AYINLA, BOLA BAMIGBOLA, Osogbo and YOMI AYELESO, Akure