Governor’s Wife Flags Off African Vaccination Week In Anambra State
By Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka
The Wife of Anambra State Governor, Mrs Nonye Soludo, has flagged off the African Vaccination Week and Rotavirus Vaccine Post Introduction Intensification Exercise in Onitsha, commercial city of the State.
Delivering her address at the occasion, Mrs Soludo affirmed that Rotavirus remained a major child-killer disease, with the number of deaths recorded annually, an indication that it must be wiped out without delay.
She stated that “the plan is to vaccinate over 267, 000 children annually in Anambra State, so I encourage mothers who have children between the age of six weeks and 23 months to visit any health facility in the state and get their kids vaccinated.”
She reminded them that the vaccination is administered free of charge, and told the women to report anyone asking for money to administer the vaccine to the appropriate authorities.
Mrs Soludo also promised that “her husband’s administration is adopting best measures to achieve the lowest count on childhood mortality in the state.”
She called on Nigerian mothers to always handle health related matters with utmost care.
While commending the World Health Organisation WHO, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, and state-based health workers for the support they have shown to the current exercise and other programmes, the Governor’s Wife noted that the state has never failed to do the needful to maximize immunisation coverage.
On his part, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike explained that as at April 2022, the number of children that had received the Rotavirus vaccination was 388, with the count rising above 10,600 as at April 2023.
He also said that the number of Children with diarrhea related disease as at April 2022, stood at 1,477, but has reduced to just 476 in April this year, showing that a significant result has been achieved since the vaccination began.
However, the compliance figure increased significantly from the dawn of the present administration in March 2022, with statistics revealing that thousands of children have been vaccinated between April last year to April 2023.
The free Rotavirus vaccination was officially flagged off in Anambra State, in December, 2021.
The Executive Secretary Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Chisom Uchem stated that the programme aimed at creating awareness on the importance of immunisation in ensuring that children get vaccinated in all localities.
She encouraged mothers to always make sure their children get immunized at the right time.
Uchem also urged them to always prioritize the healthcare of their children.
She further appreciated the State Governor for valuing and investing hugely in the health sector.
She beckoned on other state Governors to emulate Soludo and appreciated their partners and the guests.
The theme of the event was; “The Big Catch Up”. It was organised by the Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, ASPHCDA, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF.
The ceremonial demonstration of the Rotavirus vaccination on children by Mrs Soludo, climaxed the event.
Present at the event were, Wife of the Deputy Governor of Anambra State, Mrs Oluchi Ibezim, the Executive Secretary of Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency, ASPHCDA, Chisom Uchem, representatives of UNICEF and the traditional ruler of Onitsha, local health workers, students, among others.