EletiofeLagos Govt, partners to vaccinate 5 million children against...

Lagos Govt, partners to vaccinate 5 million children against measles

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The Lagos State Government and its partners are set to inoculate five million children against measles to enhance their immunity against childhood preventable diseases.

Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi [LASG]

The state Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi, made the disclosure during a news briefing ahead of the commencement of the measles vaccination in the state.

Abayomi said that Lagos in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and other development partners would conduct the Integrated Measles Campaign.

He said that the campaign for children aged nine to 59 months was in line with the National Measles Elimination Strategic Plan 2018 to 2028.

The commissioner said that the measles campaign would be integrated with other primary healthcare services and routine immunisation to improve efficiency and effectiveness at the primary health care level.

Abayomi said that it would also provide opportunity for parents and caregivers to access multiple services at the same time.

According to him, the exercise will hold from June 17 to July 4 in all 57 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state.

He said that the campaign would be conducted in two streams, with the first stream commencing between June 17 and 24.

The commissioner listed the participating LGAs for the first stream to include Agege, Ajeromi, Alimosho, Amuwo-Odofin, Badagry, Ibeju, Kosofe, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Surulere.

For the second stream which would hold between June 27 and July 4, would cover other LGAs such as Apapa, Epe, Eti-Osa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikeja, Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo, Ojo and Somolu.

He appealed to parents and caregivers to ensure that all the targeted children receive the measles vaccine and other routine immunisation services during the campaign.

“I want to assure the good people of Lagos State that immunisation is safe and effective, and I therefore call on all Lagosians to take advantage of this mass campaign that will commence on June 17,” Abayomi said.

Similarly, Dr Ibrahim Mustafa, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, said that 1,800 vaccination teams would be available per stream across the state to implement the campaign and other routine immunisation services.

Mustafa said that the teams would man fixed and temporary fixed posts which includes public and selected private hospitals, schools, clinics in religious houses, among others to reach the eligible population and achieve a 100 per cent vaccination coverage.

He said that health workers and implementers who would drive the exercise had been trained to strengthen their capacity and ensure the success of the campaign.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that measles is a highly contagious viral disease that can be fatal in most people, especially children.

The disease spreads through the air by respiratory droplets produced from coughing or sneezing, and preventable by a vaccine.

WHO and UNICEF in a recent report expressed concern over an increase in global measles cases between January and February of this year.

It said that heightened risk for the spread of vaccine-preventable diseases could trigger larger outbreaks, particularly of measles affecting millions of children.

Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Ethiopia had been confirmed as countries with largest outbreaks.

The data showed that globally, Nigeria recorded the highest incidence of measles cases put at 12,341 cases in 2021, followed by Somalia with 9,068 infections; Yemen 3,629; Afghanistan 3,628 and Ethiopia with 3039 incidents.

Nigeria is currently responding to measles outbreak in 10 out of the 36 states, asides its response to COVID-19, Cholera, Lassa Fever and Monkeypox outbreaks.

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