Federal Government of Nigeria said it is committed toward the eradication of measles in the country.
The Minister of Health Nigeria, Dr. Isaac Adwole, gave the assurance at the launch of the 2015 national measles vaccination campaign organised by the National Primary Healthcare Agency (NPHCDA) in collaboration with FCT Healthcare Agency in Abuja Nigeria
The minister, who noted that the event was to improve the coverage of measles immunisation in in the country, expressed concern at the estimated figure of 523,000 deaths in 2000 in the country due to measles.
He said measles has inflicted untold injury on our children and killing many of them, in 2000, estimate indicated that about 523,000 of our children die of measles; it is unacceptable by any serious government administration. We join the World Health Organisation (WHO) to contribute to the elimination of measles by 2020 and we are signatory to this initiative we have no order role to play than to be actively involved.
Since Nigeria started the follow up campaign in 2005/2006, we have conducted similar exercise in 2008, 2011, 2013 and this is the fifth national follow up campaign. Adewole, who explained that the national measles vaccination billed for five days, would kick start in the Northern part of Nigeria on Nov, 21, while that of the Southern part would commence in January.
According to him, the immunisation, which is target at 39 million children on completion, will avail the country to attain the goal of measles elimination by 2020. The minister said that the Federal Government was committed to raising the bar coverage beyond 80 per cent and efforts at ensuring universal health coverage for every Nigerians both young and old.
He further assured of reaching every Nigerian with available means of healthcare delivery particularly on preventive measures that guaranteed general wellbeing. He added that we do not see health as just health but a vital instrument for promoting economic dividend and development of Nigeria. If will remain a pivotal programme of this administration and I want to assure you of the deep commitment of the President to this programme.
It has to be leadership by example; we must be the leaders of the foot soldiers that are doing the job and whatever assistance needed for the success of the programme will be granted. We promise to be accountable, resourceful and accessibly by all.
Dr Ado Muhammed, the Executive Director of NPHCDA, urged parents to take their children to various government health centres numbering 610 in FCT to access the immunisation. Muhammad described the vaccination as booster dose for children that took it earlier and targeted at children from ages nine months to five years.
The FCT Minister, Muhammadu Bello, represented by Mrs Odey Achu, said that the immunisation was a wider opportunity to reach out to children that missed the earlier measles vaccination. According to him, the cost effective, high impact and result-oriented in respect of improving child health in the FCT and Nigeria as a whole. The minister added that this event is to further strengthen actions that will increase healthcare service delivery to the good people of FCT, among others.
“FCT has made necessary arrangements to ensure availability of vaccines to meet the demand of the programme and no eligible child should be left out of the intervention to meet the 2020 target of measles elimination in the country.” (NAN).