Kwara state to commence vaccination against measles

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The Kwara Government through its Primary Healthcare Development Agency says it will commence the measles vaccination for children of nine to 59 months from Oct. 26 to Nov. 1.

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Dr Nusirat Elelu, the agency’s Executive Secretary, stated this on Thursday in Ilorin at a meeting with stakeholders on measles immunisation campaign in Kwara.

She stated that there was need to eradicate misinformation and disinformation as regards various vaccine interventions in the state.

Elelu underscored the need for social mobilisatiin, while acknowledging the challenges faced as a result of disinformation concerning immunisatiin programmes.

The Executive Secretary explained that the rumours and misinformation concerning population control have no basis. “The state government has no reason whatsoever to force people to reduce population.”

She lamented the fact that there are reports of some parents withdrawing their children from school to avoid getting immunised.

“Disinformation is hampering and interfering with public health intervention. There is need to strengthen social mobilisation regarding citizens so that the right information at the right time will be made for the right people,” Elelu said.

She also pointed out that the stakeholders meeting was an opportunity to harness and utilise ideas to develop a template in the future.

Elelu observed the need for vaccination strategies so that the vulnerable population were not denied the opportunity to get life-saving healthcare intervention.

The health official explained that when children get vaccinated, for some people there may be adverse reactions, including pain and tenderness which she said would eventually go away.

“Government has put in place a mechanism at referral centres to deal with such issues,” she added.

Also speaking, Dr Dupe Shittu, the agency’s Social Mobilisatiin Officer, explained that measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus.

She stated that measles is highly contagious and can be serious and even fatal for small children, adding however that the disease can now be prevented with a vaccine

“The symptoms include fever, cough, red eyes, blotchy rash that usually appears first on the face and behind the ears, and then spreads downward to the chest and back and finally to the feet. It spreads through the air and can survive in the air for hours. Prevention is by regular hand wash and good hygiene etiquette,” she said.

Shittu advised that prevention is better and cheaper than cure, while appealing to mothers and care-givers to ensure children are fully immunised against measles.