The wife of the Kwara Governor and Founder, Ajike People’s Support Centre, Amb. Olufolake AbdulRazaq, on Wednesday flagged off the Integrated Measles/Non-invasive prenatal diagnostics (NIPD) campaign in Kwara.
AbdulRazaq, who flagged off the campaign at Shao Basic Health Centre in Moro Local Government Area (LGA), said that measles was an acute and highly infectious disease caused by the measles virus.
She said it was one of the leading causes of illnesses and deaths among children under five years of age.The governor’s wife said that more than 17,000 measles cases are reported every year in Nigeria with thousands of cases never documented.“This important occasion is meant to flag off two important campaigns for diseases that are preventable, but remains major causes of illness and deaths among children less than five years of age.
“Available data from year 2000 to 2016 shows that the use of measles vaccine has resulted in an 84% reduction in deaths caused by the disease.“Nigeria, as part of effort to attain global measles elimination, has developed a national Measles strategic plan 2018-2028 which includes introduction of second dose Measles vaccine (MCV2) into our routine immunization,” she said.AbdulRazaq said that Polio is a paralytic disease whose last case in Nigeria was in 2016 before being subsequently declared Polio free.
“The country suddenly woke up to the recurrent outbreaks of circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus, which though is a weak form of Polio Virus, is also capable of causing paralysis.“Unfortunately, a case of the weak virus was detected in Kaiama LGA of the state a few weeks ago.
“The administration of his Excellency Malam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq is not resting on its oars to see that necessary vaccines get to eligible children at the appropriate time.“It is in this regard that I urge you to avail yourselves of the opportunity this round of immunization campaign presents by bringing out your children and wards to benefit from this laudable initiative,” she said.
She commended the Kwara government for recruiting health workers, and for embarking on massive renovation, upgrade and equipping of primary health facilities to make them more conducive for both patients and health workers.
“To complement the efforts of government in this regard, my office and the Ajike People Support Center will continue to intensify sensitization and awareness to ensure that no child is left behind in the state.“Today’s flag off ceremony is a demonstration of the commitment and ownership of this administration in making healthcare services accessible and available to all,” AbdulRazaq said.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Nusirat Elelu, said measles and poliomyelitis are among the top 10 killer and debilitating diseases in Africa.
Elelu said the diseases, though vaccine preventable, constituted major threats to children under five years of age, adding that the agency is committed to safeguarding the health and welfare of women and children.She encouraged everyone to make their children under the age of five years, irrespective of immunization status, available for the interventions while informing that the mode of operation would be house to house campaign.
“We plan to vaccinate about 601,865 children against measles, while 1,074,126 children under the age of five years against polio,” she said.Dr Raji Razaq, the Commissioner for Health, commended the AbdulRahman-led administration for being proactive on issues that concern healthcare delivery.
Razaq said the state government is committed to welfare and healthcare delivery services and urged parents and guardians to cooperate with immunization officials to get their children immunized.
Mrs Farida Usman, a resident who spoke with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), said that it was a timely intervention because this is the heat season when measles break out in communities.Usman appreciated the governor and his wife for their various activities at ensuring the welfare of citizens. (NAN)