By Stephen Adeleye.
Mrs Rashidat Bello, wife of Kogi’s Gov. Yahaya Bello, has urged parents and caregivers to take full advantage of the free measles and meningitis vaccination to bring out their eligible children to be vaccinated.
Mrs Bello gave the advice on Thursday at the flag-off ceremony of measles and meningitis vaccination campaign at NPI Okene, in Okene local government area.
Mrs Bello, who was represented by the Director Local Government, Okene, Mrs Awawu Awudah, stressed the importance of the exercise and urged parents and caregivers to ride up to the challenges and keep their children healthy.
According to Mrs Bello, the vaccines are free, safe and save lives, while expressing the determination of the present administration to reduce the high risk of child killer diseases in Kogi.
The governor’s wife commended the development partners for their continuous support and funding of health programs and campaigns, saying the efforts has been complementing the Government’s pet project in health sector.
Mrs Bello, who flagged-off the vaccination campaign, extolled the collaborative efforts of the state ministry of health and the Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHCDA) in their job of health care service delivery in the state.
”For this campaign, our target are children from 09 to 59 months for measles, and one to five years for meningitis vaccination.
”We will join hands and do all it takes to safeguard our children from these killer but preventable diseases through vaccination.
”I appeal to parents, caregivers, traditional and religious institutions to pass the message to our people that these killer diseases are preventable,” she said.
In his remarks, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Saka Audu, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Alhaji Abubakar Babamaji, urged mothers and caregivers to ensure that their wards were vaccinated to avoid unpleasant situation.
Audu commended the people for their unalloyed support to the present administration, assuring that Gov. Bello would continue to provide purposeful leadership to the people of the state most especially on health care delivery.
On his part, the Executive Director of KSPHCDA, Dr Abubakar Yakubu, commended the governor for given priority to the health sector in the state, and the donor agencies and development partners for their unflinching support to health needs of ordinary people of the state.
According to Yakubu, measles is a highly infectious air borne disease caused by the Measles virus through respiratory droplets; one of the childhood killer diseases and tends to occur in epidemics.
He defined meningitis as a dangerous infectious disease that affects the coverings of the brain and spinal cord, caused by viral, bacterial or fungal, saying viral remained the commonest form of meningitis.
He said that children within the ages of 9 months and 59 months, totaling 866,328, would be immunised against measles while children within the ages of one year and five years totaling 815,368 would be immunised against meningitis across the state.
Goodwill messages were given by the representative of Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, Alhaji Ado Ibrahim, the representatives of NPHCDA, WHO, UNICEF, AFENET, among others.
Both team from the ministry and the agency paid homage to Ohinoyi of Ebiraland, at his palace, to solicit for his full support for the vaccination campaign to get to the grassroots.
The monarch assured the government of his total support and that of other traditional rulers in the district to ensure that every eligible child was vaccinated.