Kwara govt launches anti-measles vaccination campaign for under-five children

By Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin

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The Kwara State Government has 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 Speaker, Danladi,  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.

 

The 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.

 

“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.