The 2018 Measles vaccination campaign for children between the age nine months and five years will hold in Lagos state from Thursday 15 to Thursday 29 March, 2018, the state government has said.
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Primary Health Care, Dr. Olufemi Onanuga, who made this known on Tuesday while briefing newsmen on the level of preparedness for the campaign, noted that 3,609,538 children were being targeted during the vaccination campaign.
“The objective of the campaign is to immunise at least 95 percent of children aged nine months to five years with measles vaccine in all Local Government Areas regardless of their previous immunisation status,” he said.
Onanuga explained that the measles vaccination campaign will be implemented in two streams, stressing that the first stream will hold in Alimosho, Agege, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Amuwo-Odofin ,Epe, Ikorodu, Lagos Island, Lagos Mainland, Mushin and Ojo Local Government Areas between 15 and 22 March, this year.
He added that the second stream will hold between Thursday 22 and Thursday 29 March, 2018 in Apapa, Badagry, Eti-Osa, Ibeju-Lekki, Ikeja, Ifako-Ijaiye, kosofe, Oshodi-Isolo, Somolu and Surulere LGAs.
“Mop-up exercises would be carried out for the first and second streams between 21st and 22nd of March, 2018, and 28th and 29th of March, 2018, respectively, in wards and communities adjudged not to have been adequately covered, as set out in the objectives of the campaign,” the Special Adviser said.
Onanuga further explained that two types of vaccination posts – the Fixed Post and the Temporary Fixed Post will be used for the campaign, adding that the Fixed Vaccination Posts will be located at permanent health facilities where immunisation will be provided between the hours of 8am and 4pm. The fixed posts according to him, will also serve as depots for storage and distribution of vaccine and other supplies to the temporary fixed sites
“The Temporary Fixed Vaccination Posts, on the other hand, will be located at selected public and private schools, mosques, churches, town halls, houses of traditional leaders, bus stops or terminals, motor parks, streets and markets, and hard-to-reach areas and border communities. Immunisation will be provided at these sites from the hours of 8am to 4pm,” he noted.
The Special Adviser revealed that over 4,526 house-to-house mobilisers have been mandated to encourage eligible children that fall within the operational target population to visit the immunisation posts for measles vaccine and the other antigens adding that 4,526 fixed and temporary fixed posts will be set up for the campaign.
While appealing to parents and caregivers to ensure that all the children between nine months and five years are taken to the health posts for the measles vaccination, Onanuga stated that the vaccination service is free, the vaccine is safe and effective, and is to be administered to the children irrespective of their previous immunisation status.
“I hereby seize this opportunity to encourage our parents and care givers to ensure that their children and wards are taken to the primary health care clinics to receive measles vaccine and all other scheduled routine immunisations. This is with a view to protecting them against the preventable killer diseases.”
Noting that remarkable progress had been made in the prevention of measles infection and its attendant complications through the introduction of measles vaccination, the Special Adviser stated that many training workshops had been organised to strengthen the capacity of relevant health workers in microplanning, social mobilisation and actual implementation to ensure the success of this year’s campaign.
Onanuga added that the state government had equally embarked on massive media campaign to sensitise and mobilise the citizenry effectively; stressing that town announcements; community dialogues; mosque and church announcements; sensitizations with schools; and advocacy meetings with LGA Chairmen, Ward Councillors, Supervisory Councillors for Health, and key traditional and religious leaders had been and are being carried out.
“Thousands of volunteers from partners such as United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organisation (WHO), Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Medical Women Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Nigerian Red Cross Society, Rotary Club International and Lions Club, have been mobilised to complement awareness creation activities at the community level,” he said.
He explained also that State technical facilitators and independent monitors will provide technical assistance and supervisory support on the field adding that Local Government Areas through their Chairmen have also been mobilised and encouraged to make budgetary provision to support the campaign.