By Asma’u Ahmad
The Cross River State Government on Wednesday, inaugurated the 2018, two-weeks measles immunisation campaign for children between 9 months and five years across the state.
The State Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu, who inaugurated the exercise in Calabar, assured the people that the state would achieve 100 per cent coverage across in its 18 local government areas.
Esu explained that the immunisation would prevent children from untimely death and other serious lifelong complications associated with the viral diseases.
He said that the state had not failed to release its counterpart funding for measles campaign and other immunisation activities because of the need to enhance community protection against diseases.
The deputy governor called on stakeholders to play their key role in ensure vaccination of every child in the state.
“Cross River is very passionate about this exercise and we want nothing less than 100 per cent success.
“We want to ensure that all the hard-to-reach areas are adequately covered within this first phase of the campaign,’’ he said.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Inyang Asibong, also called on stakeholders and community heads to join hands with the state government through mass mobilisation of children for the exercise to make it a success.
Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Betta Edu, said that the target was to get every child between 9 and 59 months vaccinated across the state.
She thanked Governor Ben Ayade for his support which she said had enabled the agency to reach out to hard-to-reach areas where most of the asylum seekers, mostly children, were settled.
“This is the time to protect every child from mortality associated with measles and every other complications like blindness and deafness,’’ she said.
Head of World Health Organisation (WHO) in the state, Dr Tom Igbu, who spoke on behalf of development partners said the story of health in Cross River had improved due to the premium the state government placed on the sector.