HEALTH is paramount to the well-being of any society. Its advancement in any economy is relevant to its growth and development. The value we placed on health delivery will speak for the state in the future.
Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Soludo stated this at the flag-off ceremony of the Measles Integrated Vaccination Campaign in Anambra State, held at the Primary Health Care Centre, Uke, Idemili North Local Government Area.
Gov. Soludo, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Afam Obidike said his administration has prioritised health care delivery, stating that his health policies will be fruitful. “A progressive and transformative programme ndi Anambra will be proud of.
“It is unfortunate that when we assumed office six months ago, we were confronted with a measles outbreak in nine local government areas of state. The percentage of the measles vaccination in Anambra needs to be upped. 90 per cent vaccine immunisation target is the safe standard but we want a zero tolerance. We will do everything within our power to ensure the success of this programme; an good health delivery services.”
Gov. Soludo urged the people of Uke to make the Measles Integrated Vaccination Campaign a success.
In her welcome speech, the Executive Secretary/CEO, Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Dr. Chioma Ezenyimulu said measles is an extremely contagious disease. Around nine out of 10 people who are not protected will become infected following exposure to the measles virus, noting that measles can be prevented with the measles vaccine hence this campaign.
Dr. Ezenyimulu said the measles campaign is part of the national response to stop the spread of the outbreak, save lives of young children and reduce the burden on our health system.
“This campaign is considered integrated because it will feature other primary healthcare services which include routine imnmunisation, COVID-19 vaccination and birth registration. Anambra State Government, in collaboration with NPHCDA, WHO, UNICEF, USAID, CDC, Red Cross and other partners will during this campaign, carry out other routine immunisation for children aged 0-23 months, while measles vaccine will be administered to children aged 9-59 months, respectively. Adults from 18 years and above will be allowed to vaccinate themselves against COVID-19 virus. There will also be birth registration for children aged 0-5 years.”
“Anambra State is fully committed to the programme and is therefore calling on parents/caregivers, proprietors, head teachers/administrators of schools to present their children for immunization because it is their right and a must for healthy growth; and also ensure that no child is missed in the state.
Dr. Ezenyimulu appreciated Gov. Soludo for his sterling leadership especially in the health sector and appealed to the Governor for urgent intervention in the employment of primary health workers as staff keeps retiring without being replaced.
State Health Educator, Uju Onwuegbusina urged parents to register their babies birth as required by the National Population Commission, maintaining that many parents don’t do that and by not doing so it doesn’t show that such a child is a citizen of Nigeria.
“In this integrated Measles Campaign every child below the age of five has the opportunity to undergo the birth registration exercise.
“As a nursing mother after vaccinating your baby the next thing to do is to ask for where to register the baby’s birth officially. The National Population Commission personnel are always attached to immunisation officials.
“Parents should take the measles campaign seriously. In the last three months, we had a measles outbreak in nine LGAs and some of the babies are those who haven’t undergone the measles second dose. We introduced the second dose of measles vaccine two years ago because the first dose is no longer effective against measles.
She advised parents not to wait until the child develops measles before going for immunisation.