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Bayelsa Flags-off Measles Vaccination Campaign, Lifts Ban On School Medical Outreach

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Bayelsa State Government is embarking on a 13-day aggressive measles immunisation for children between the ages of 9 months and five years, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, has said.

The measure is part of efforts to prevent children from untimely death and other serious lifelong complications associated with the viral disease.

The Commissioner said during a press conference held at the Ministry of Information and Orientation in Yenagoa.

Etebu said the measles immunization will take place from 1st to 13th of March at every hospital, schools, marketplaces, churches, mosques and motor parks across the state.

According to him, the measles immunization has no relations with the Monkey Pox and called on caregivers and mothers to ensure that every child is presented for the vaccine regardless of their previous vaccination statues.

He said the campaign against measles was being co-sponsored by the Federal Government, partners and donors, adding that the vaccine is free, safe and beneficial to the children.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Jonathan Obuebite, announced government’s decision to lift ban placed on medical outreach to school during the Monkey Pox episode.

He said the lift of the ban became necessary in order to allow the Bayelsa Child have access to the lifesaving immunization.

Obuebite who said it is an offence for any teacher to prevent health workers from this humanitarian service is schools, explained that government huge investment in health can only be meaningful when children are healthy enough to attend school and learn.

Obuebite said he will be accompanying the health workers to some schools during the exercise in order to demonstrate the importance government attached to the wellbeing of every child in the state.

The Commissioner for Information, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, who coordinated the Measles Campaign Press Briefing, explained that government huge investment in public health particularly, the establishment of the top notch Diagnostic Centre is indicative of government commitment to preventive care.

He said government also paid is counterpart funding for the measles immunization outreach slated for March to ensure that children are healthy enough to attend over 600 schools established in the nooks and crannies of the state.

Iworiso-Markson called on public office holders, members of the House of Assembly, community leaders and traditional rulers to deploy their influence at encouraging caregivers and parents to understand the importance of the measles immunization to the wellbeing of their wards.

The Information Commissioner also said plans are on to reach out to the public through the media in native languages to mobilize the public for the all-important vaccination.

He also appealed to the media to give the immunization campaign the widest publicity possible to ensure that every caregiver is aware and encouraged to present their children for the vaccination.

Meanwhile, Social Officers of the Ministry of Women Affairs have being directed  to return to the field and educate parents, especially women, on the need to present their children between the ages of nine months and five years  for the state-wide measles vaccination exercise slated for the first to thirteen of March, 2018.

The Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs. Martha Jenakumo gave the directive at the press conference organized to flag-off the kick-measles vaccination campaign in Yenagoa.

She said that Governor Seriake Dickson has demonstrated his commitment to the welfare of the child beyond doubt, urging mothers to present their children for the measles vaccination in effort to promote the total health of the Bayelsa Child.

Speaking in the same vein, the World Health Organization (WHO) Nigeria EPI Team Leader, Dr. Fiona Braka commended the state government for its commitment to the immunization programme and for prompt payment of it counterpart funding of the exercise.

Braka reiterated that the measles immunization is to enhance community protection against diseases and called on every stakeholder to play a role at ensuring that every child, wherever he may be, is vaccinated against measles.

 

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