By Victoria Nnakaike, Lokoja
Kogi State government has said that it has concluded plans to immunise 1.6 million children against measles and menegitis disease across the 21 local government areas in the state.
The Executive Director, Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA), Abubakar Yakubu, disclosed this during a press briefing in Lokoja. He also said the state’s meningitis and measles vaccination campaign would commence on October. 8.
He said that children within the ages of nine months and 59 months totaling 866,328 would be immunised against measles while children within the ages of one and five years totaling 815,368 would be immunised against meningitis.
He equally noted that the objective was to reduce measles transmission in Nigeria and attain measles elimination goal of 2012-2028, adding that it would also protect all new birth cohorts in the state of the meningitis belt against meningitis.
“Measles is a highly infectious air-borne disease caused by the measles virus through respiratory droplets; one of the childhood killer diseases that tend to occur in epidemics”.
He went on: “Meningitis is a dangerous infectious disease that affects the coverings of the brain and spinal cord, caused by viral, bacterial or fungal elements. It remains the commonest form of meningitis”.
Yakubu therefore urged all traditional leaders, religious leaders, parents and all stakeholders to ensure that all targeted children are present for vaccination.
He disclosed that the wife of the Kogi Governor, Rashida Bello, is expected to flag off the campaign on October 8, at NPI in Okene Local Government Council.
”All vaccines are free and safe; mothers and caregivers should avail themselves of this opportunity and make sure their children are vaccinated”, Yakubu said.
Speaking, Abdulazeez Yahya, representative from NPHCDA Abuja, noted that the target for the elimination of minigistis and measles in Nigeria had been extended to 2028 instead of the initial year 2020.