Measles Campaign: Parents Urged To Cooperate With Vaccinators

Measles Campaign: Parents Urged To Cooperate With Vaccinators
  • PublishedMarch 11, 2018
  • 1.2 Million Under 5’s Targeted

By Francis Ezediuno

The State of Osun government through the efforts of the Ministry of Health and Primary Health Care Development Board (SOPHCDB) in collaboration with the United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is poised to aggressively fight the devastating effects of measles thereby eradicating it totally from the state and Nigeria at large by the year 2020.

This is according to information made available by Dr. Kayode Ogunniyi, the Executive Secretary of SOPHCDB in the state.

He revealed that the state had been preparing this round of exercise in the past three months and the campaign proper was kicked off on Wednesday, 1st of March, 2018 by the state’s Deputy Governor, Otunba Grace Titi Laoye Tomori.

Dr. Ogunniyi disclosed that much importance was attached to the campaign so as to eradicate measles and poliomyelitis in the state.

According to him, “measles is preventable and that is why the government is so concerned.

“Also, because of the devastating effects of measles which include permanent damage such as sterility, blindness and deafness even after a person may have recovered fully from it.

“And since it does not discriminate against age, children develop lifelong immunity if they are vaccinated before the age of 5”.

He added that after six months of a child’s life, the natural immunity would have waned for measles, saying vaccination at nine months is very necessary.

Ogunniyi disclosed that the state of Osun was adequately prepared for the exercise as previous campaigns in 2013 and 2016 had shown.

While revealing that 1.2 million under 5 children have been earmarked to be captured during the 2018 measles vaccination campaign, he stated that in 2013, the state was able to record 113% and in 2016; 109% rate of successes respectively.

“UNICEF is providing technical support and all the 876 primary health care centres, mosques, churches, markets, schools, motor parks, both formal and informal venues would be used and duly licensed health workers and promoters had been recruited for the exercise.

“Together with the counterpart fund of N21 million that was paid by the government in 2017, the campaign is billed for success”.

He called on all parents and guardians especially those in the educated class to avail themselves the opportunity and make their children available for the vaccination exercise.

In a related development, challenges have started to arise from the measles vaccination campaign as some organisations and parents reportedly disallowed vaccinators from administering the measles vaccines on their children and wards.

Indicators started to emerge from the first day of the exercise when vaccinators were forced to go from house to house to vaccinate children.

Also, vaccinators complained that in some religious and secular schools, proprietors denied them from accessing children under the age of 5, maintaining that they did not obtain the approval of their parents.

However, it could be observed that majority of parents cooperated with the vaccinators in majority of centres visited and on the spot observation of vaccination in the field.

It should be noted that some days before the commencement of the campaign in Osun, pupils below the ages of 5 had been given measles vaccination consent forms to take home to their parents where they would sign and give approval for the children and wards to take part in the exercise.

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