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Anambra begins second phase of measles immunization

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GOVERNOR Obiano in his passion to protect Anambra children from all forms of killer diseases, recently flagged off the second dose of measles vaccine into routine immunization, at the Primary Health Care Center, Isuaniocha, Awka North Local Government Area.

  Represented by his deputy, Dr. Nkem Okeke, the governor  reiterated the importance of immunization and called on all parents and caregivers in the state, to take their children and wards aged 0-23 months, to the nearest Primary Health Care Center to receive this life saving vaccination.

Earlier in an address, Executive Secretary Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Chioma Ezenyimulu, said the Second Dose of the Measles Vaccine (MCV2) shall be given at 15 months of age, which extends children’s eligibility for immunization to 23 months.

  Dr. Ezenyimulu further said that the introduction of MCV2 into Routine Immunization (RI) which began in November 14, would be followed up with a one week RI intensification in the southern states of Nigeria, where other RI antigens will be administered against vaccine preventable diseases, to interrupt the circulation of measles and reduce the burden of other childhood killer diseases.

  “Anambra state would join other states to ensure improved immunization coverage in the state. Health workers would be at all Primary Health Care Centers, and designated posts in the community to give the measles containing vaccine, as well as other routine immunization antigens according to the schedule,” Dr. Ezenyimulu informed.

  Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, represented by Dr. Emmanuel Chigama, said the vaccine which is basically for children development would unction Nigeria to another sphere of life.

  said “I bring you good news people of Anambra. I am asked to tell you that the long awaited end to measles and other health challenges to the children is here. There are various vaccines that have been introduced to enhance and boost the immune system of these children.

This program is like a second chance for children who  missed the vaccine at 9 months and those who had it in 9 months will get it again to ensure full protection from measles. This will even favour the community as it will free it environs from measles and all of it likes. There is no cause for alarm as this vaccine has been professionally tested and trusted.”

  Dr. Shuaib also said that the vaccine which would be given free to all children that deserve it, has been tested and trusted to be very safe and effective. “The vaccine would heighten the children immunity against measles, and afford them full protection from measles” he affirmed.

  Mrs Nkechi Onwuvunka, a senior staff of the primary health care department of Anambra State, while addressing the audience stressed the importance of immunization. She further explained that the immunization is administered to children from the ages of 9 months to 5years for free to help their immunes in fighting and defeating diseases like measles, polio, etc. Still speaking, she said “our headquarters is at Abuja from where we receive these immunization drugs at our zonal headquarters at Enugu, and then to other states and their local governments.

  “The health workers are also admonished to keep record of the vaccines already administered to a child to avoid over dosage. Failure to do this alters the essence of the administration of this immunization. Measles deals with children below 5years of age mercilessly if not early prevented”, she said.

  The transition chairman of Awka North Local Government, Ferdinand Onwuje, in his opening remarks, lauded the governor  for his love for Awka North. “If not for your love ,you wouldn’t have chosen us as the host for this memorable event of launching the second doze of the routine immunization.

I and the entire people of Awka North, particularly Isuaniocha people are grateful and very appreciative of this honour. I am certain that this gesture will yield great fruit for Awka North and the state at large. Thank you once more your excellency.”

  The Anambra state commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala, ably represented by Dr Ndibe John, Permanent Secretary, Anambra State’s Ministry of Health said,  “We have been adequately educated on the definition of measles, its dangers and the importance of this immunization program.

Therefore I wish to implore all parents particularly the mothers to ensure that they avail themselves and their babies the opportunity to get administered with these vaccines to avoid future pains and sorrows.

I will not fail to appreciate the working governor of Anambra State, Chief Dr Willie M. Obiano, who fails not to apprehend every opportunity that will favour ndi Anambra. Thank you your excellency.”

  Dr Chumwumuanya Igboekwu, the state coordinator World Health Organization (WHO), Anambra state lauded the administration of the state government, for their commitment to the health of the citizens of the state.

He said, “the state won the first position in health sector last two years and has been maintaining that position. I wish to encourage the state government to keep it up.

The WHO is investing not less than a sum of N100 million  in this program to ensure it attains the height envisaged and yields the desired fruit. And I wish to encourage them to keep it up. Ndi Anambra have always been at the fore front when it comes to health deliberations”, he stated.

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