The Oyo State Government, in partnership with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the World Health Organisation, and the United Nations Children Fund, will on October 20 begin measles vaccination for children between nine months and five years.
The Executive Secretary, of Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Muyideen Olatunji, disclosed this while addressing newsmen on Tuesday, in Ibadan.
Olatunji, represented by Dr. Johnson Osoko, the board’s Director of Public Health, said the vaccination exercise was aimed at eradicating measles across the state and the nation as a whole.
According to him, the measles vaccination is an injection, unlike the polio vaccination, which is administered orally.
“We are still recording outbreaks of preventable diseases such as measles and this call for mass vaccination campaign, so as to eradicate it.
“The measles vaccination exercise will integrate other vaccines such as Polio, and Vitamin ‘A’ supplement, among others.
“This idea of including other health interventions to the vaccination exercise is strategically programmed in line with the state government’s drive to ensure qualitative healthcare delivery to people at the grassroots,” he explained.
The executive secretary assured the state residents that the vaccines to be administered were completely safe.
He implored parents and guardians to ensure that they bring out their children and wards who are eligible for the vaccination.
Olatunji enjoined the media to give the exercise accurate and effective coverage, saying the role of the media in health care delivery couldn’t be over-emphasized
Also, Dr. Adeyemi Adewole, the Programme Manager, of Oyo State Emergency and Routine Coordination Centre, said that officials for the mass measles vaccination campaign have been trained.
Adewole, however, said the officials would be working under adequate supervision to avoid any mistakes, assuring parents and guardians not to nurse any fear or skepticism during the exercise.
He added that the vaccination exercise would be carried out at fixed posts, while mobile points would be allowed for better coverage.
In their separate goodwill messages, representatives of NPHCDA, Mrs. Adijah Ajao; UNICEF, Mr. Samuel Olatunji, and WHO, Dr. Bukola Alawale, unanimously called for synergy to ensure reduction in infant mortality and morbidity rate in the state.
Alawale said that measles was highly contagious, but could be prevented through the administering of vaccines.
She said the WHO would leverage the integrated campaign vaccination to reduce mortality and mobility among children.
Also, the UNICEF representative urged the media to ensure that their reports of the vaccination exercise are verified and reflect the truth about the exercise.