Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River state has commended the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other partners for working closely in supporting the state government to get rid of childhood diseases through routine immunization.
Professor Ayade who was represented by his deputy, Professor Ivara Etsu, disclosed this at the flag-off of the 2022 State Integrated Measles Vaccination and introduction of Rota vaccine in Calabar, the Cross River state capital.
According to the governor, time has come for the state government and the other stakeholders in the health sector to look beyond curative medicine and embrace preventive approaches which are a panacea in mitigating mortality and morbidity.
The State Coordinator of the WHO in the state, Doctor Salisu Ibrahim, explained the programme which would last for seven days, urging parents, mothers and care-givers to come out, and bring out their children for the vaccination as well encourage their neighbours to do the same.
“WHO is working closely with Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency to strengthen Routine Immunization and supplemental Immunization activities. The Cross River State Government, WHO, UNICEF and other partners are targeting atleast 761,951 children between 9-59 months for measles vaccination”.
“We urge all parents, especially mothers to ensure their children are vaccinated and they should also be our ambassador by informing others around them to benefit from the exercise,” he said.
Dr. Salisu further explained that the approach was aimed at protecting vulnerable children especially those in refugee camps that may be vulnerable to different forms of diseases.
On her part, the Director General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, revealed that although measles was one of the vaccine-preventable diseases of childhood, it still accounts for a large proportion of deaths among under five children in Nigeria calling on parents to ensure their children are vaccinated.
The representative of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Julius Idoko, commended the Cross River state government for providing counterpart funds for the campaign, charging the healthcare workers to put in their best.