The Lagos State Government Tuesday, said it is targeting over four million children for measles vaccination which begins today in the state, even as parents and caregivers have been urged to ensure that all their wards between the age of nine months up to five years are taken to the health posts or designated posts for the measles vaccination.
Briefing journalists in Lagos, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris said the vaccination exercise which is the second phase of the nationwide measles Follow-Up campaign was aimed at reducing any build –up of susceptibles born since the previous supplemental immunisation activities.
Idris also noted that the exercise which will hold from January today to February 1, 2016 in 20 Local Government Areas ( LGAs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) was also to reduce childhood mortality and morbidity from measles infection among children aged nine months to 59 months.
“The main objective of the campaign is to immunise at least 95 per cent of eligible children with measles antigens irrespective of their previous immunisations status. Though the duration of immunity conferred by measles antigen is lifelong, its efficacy is about 86 per cent.
“Measles vaccine is safe for all children even if the child has common illness such as diarrhoea, malaria or if the child is malnourished.”
He urged parents and caregivers to ensure that all their children between the ages nine months up to five years are taken to the health posts or designated posts for the measles vaccination.
While imploring all religious and traditional leaders, politicians and councilors to take full responsibility in ensuring that every child in their community receives all the necessary scheduled immunisation, he said the state has made provision of 521 fixed posts and 2,216 temporary fixed posts for the exercise. “Immunisation will also be provided in public and private schools, mosques/churches, parks, streets and markets and hard- to- reach areas, bus stops or terminal at these sites for either the duration of the campaign or partially.”
This story was published in Newswatch Times on January 28, 2016.