KWARA GOVT LAUNCHES ANTI-MEASLES VACCINATION CAMPAIGN FOR UNDER-FIVE CHILDREN

(L-R: Executive Secretary Kwara State Primary HealthCare Development Agency Dr Nusirat Elelu; Kwara State Deputy Governor Mr Kayode Alabi; Commissioner for Health Dr Amina Ahmed El-Imam; and Mrs Aishat Abubakar (Mother of the beneficiary); during the flag-off of the 2023 Measles Campaign and Routine Immunization Outreach, in Ilorin, on Friday.)

• Urges residents to dismiss rumour on safety of vaccine

Kwara State Government on Friday flagged off the 2023 Measles and Immunization campaign for under five aged children in the state, with the government pledging to ensure that the exercise covers the vast majority of the target group.

Kwara's Measles Campaign and routine Immunization will be held between 26th October and 1st November, 2023.

At the flag-off ceremony in Ilorin, Deputy Governor and Chairman, State Task Force on Immunization, Mr. Kayode Alabi, said the vaccine has been allocated to various healthcare centres in the 16 local governments of the state for proper administration.

"As a responsible government, the Kwara State Government through the State Primary HealthCare Development Agency will do everything within its power to ensure that the vaccine reaches every eligible child within the shortest possible period of time," he said, urging parents and caregivers to make sure that their children are vaccinated. 

"I am aware the vaccine has been distributed across all health facilities in the 16 local government areas to administer it on all eligible children. I implore all mothers and caregivers to avail their children of the golden opportunity of preventing untimely deaths through vaccine preventable diseases by making them available for routine immunization outreach".

Alabi, who said measles is one of the leading causes of illnesses and deaths among children under age five, noted that the campaign marks another milestone in the lifesaving intervention of the government to reduce childhood morbidity and mortality.

He commended the leadership and staff of the agency for being resilient and committed to making essential health services available in all nooks and crannies of Kwara.

"As the Chairman of the State Taskforce on Immunization and PHC, I am proud of your achievements and the feats you have attained in all your immunization campaigns this.year including coming out as the best in Primary HealthCare leadership challenge in the whole North Central zone. I remain committed to ensuring support and a conducive environment to deliver on your mandate," he added.

The event was attended by the Speaker Kwara State House of Assembly Rt. Hon. Yakubu Salihu Danladi; Commissioner for Health Dr. Amina Ahmed El-Imam; Commissioner of Communications Bola Olukoju represented by Alhaji Abdulganiy Atere; Executive Secretary state Primary HealthCare Development Agency Dr Nusirat Elelu; Executive Secretary Kwara State Health Insurance Agency Dr. Olubunmi Jetawo-Winter; Executive Secretary State Hospital Management Board Dr. AbdulRaheem Malik; Emir of Shonga Dr. Haliru Yahaya; representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund United (UNICEF), National Primary HealthCare Development Authority (NPHCDA), and African Field Epidemiology Network (AFENET); Magaji Fate Alhaji Mumini Ayoku; Alangua Tanke Alhaji Umaru Salaudeen; among other dignitaries.

Rt. Hon. Danladi, for his part, charged all key stakeholders including traditional rulers and religious leaders to give the exercise the needed support to succeed.

He commended the government for its huge investments in the health sector and how it is committed to encouraging healthy citizenry, appreciating Dr. Nusirat Elelu and development partners for their high spirits in the implementation of various health programmes in the state.  

State Commissioner for Health Dr Amina Ahmed El-Imam, in her remarks, implored Kwara residents to ignore the disinformation making rounds to discredit the exercise and deter their innocent children from accessing the vaccine, affirming that the vaccine is safe for use.

"I appeal to you all not to allow rumours and disinformation about the efficacy of vaccines deter you from accessing the important health intervention on behalf of our precious children. The vaccines have been confirmed to be safe by relevant authorities at many levels and using many methods and practices," she said.

She praised the efforts of Governor AbdulRazaq in making quality healthcare services accessible and affordable for the citizens.

Dr. Elelu, in her welcome address, said measles is one of the highly infectious diseases that largely affect children under five years of age, who missed their vaccination in the first year of life, calling on people to take advantage of the exercise.

She said statistics have proven that the use of the measles vaccine is safe and effective, given a significant reduction in the deaths caused by measles.
 
"Available data has shown that the use of the measles vaccine has resulted in over 84% reduction in measles death. A single dose of measles vaccine taken in the first 9 months is not enough to attain the minimum 95% immunity required of a child to be fully protected," she said, thanking the government for giving public health safety a priority. 

"Our most sincere gratitude to Executive Governor of Kwara State Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq for the ownership and exemplary leadership in the health space. We cannot but appreciate the Chairman of the State Taskforce on Immunization, Deputy Governor Mr. Kayode Alabi for his unwavering support and commitment," she added.

Highlight of the event was the symbolic administration of vaccines on children by the duo of deputy Governor and Kwara House Speaker.

Alade Opeyemi
Press Secretary
KWHCDA
October 27, 2023.

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