By Asma’u Ahmad
No fewer than 654, 804 children aged between nine months and five years will be immunised during the March measles vaccination in Kogi state, a World Health Organisation (WHO) consultant has said.
A National Measles Consultant to WHO, Dr Muhammad Salihu, who made this known to newsmen in Lokoja on Tuesday, said the exercise would last from March 1 to 13. The consultant said that WHO had taken delivery of 720, 290 doses of vaccines required for the exercise.
Dr Salihu who spoke at a one-day sensitisation programme for the media on the exercise, said it would hold simultaneously in all the 239 wards across the state.
He said the exercise would be handled by 614 teams of vaccinators and that it would hold at places of worship, markets, palaces, schools and health facilities across the state.
Also speaking, a facilitator, Dr Uzoma Ogbonna, said that the exercise would hold only in designated areas, adding that there was no resources to carry out house-to-house immunisation.
“We are using this to complement the routine immunisation. “Parents are advised not to wait; they should just walk down to the nearest health facility to immunise their children irrespective of previous immunisation,” he said.
Ogbonna said the vaccinators had been instructed not to administer the vaccine on children above 10 years. The facilitator emphasised that the exercise was essentially for those within the age bracket of nine months and five years.
The state Health Educator, Mr Acheku Yusuf, urged journalists to join hands with the State Government to make the exercise a success. He said that only measles vaccines would be administered during the exercise, calling on parents to take advantage of it to immunise their children against measles.