Cross River targets 700,000 children in integrated measles vaccination campaign 

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Cross River governor Ben Ayade

The government of Cross River state has said it was targeting not fewer than 700,000 under five children in its integrated measles vaccination campaign which would take place between October 20 and 27.

The director of Primary Health Care Development Agency (CRPHCDA), Dr Janet Ekpenyong, said this in Calabar during a one-day media orientation meeting.

Speaking while charging mothers and caregivers to regard vaccination of their children/ward as a top priority, Dr Ekpenyong warned that an unvaccinated child is exposed to not only measles-related permanent blindness and deafness but fatalities.

She explained that with about 35 cases recorded in a refugee camp in Ogoja, which is populated by Cameroonians fleeing the civil war in their country, the integrated measles campaign had become necessary.

The DG stated further that the agency was collaborating with the federal government as well as other critical partners like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nation International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) amongst others.

“Measles is one of the vaccine-preventable childhood viral diseases which have led to mortality especially of those under the age of five. The measles integrated campaign is targeted at 700,000 children in Cross River, and it is planned in such a way that if a child had missed out of the routine immunization, such a child would have another opportunity to be vaccinated.

“Symptoms of measles are fever, cough, running nose, redness of the eyes and of course rashes all over the child’s body. The Cross River state government is making sure every child is vaccinated against preventable diseases and none should die from them. Unvaccinated child, if he survives measles, is exposed to permanent blindness and deafness.

“We will use every strategy to carry out the campaign. Our mobile team will reach children in schools, market places; churches and every public place that we know have targeted pupation. We will be moving from house to house. Church and traditional leaders are involved and we have teams for the hard to reach areas,” she stated.

Also speaking, WHO representatives, Dr Ibrahim Audu Salisu, restated the resolve of the global health body to continue to collaborate with the agency in health-related interventions, and therefore charged the media to help in sensitising the citizens on the importance of vaccination.

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