In an effort to prevent a Meningitis outbreak in the Cross River and continue boosting the immunity of children against the disease, the State Government, in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and the World Health Organization (WHO), with support from UNICEF, MDF, and others today kicked off a statewide campaign to reach at least 693,000 children with life-saving potent vaccines.
Children between age 1-5 will be vaccinated across the 18 Local Government Areas of the State with special focus on markets, schools, churches, mosques, creeks, hard to reach communities and every catchment area where target population lives.
Flagging of the campaign, the Cross River State Deputy Governor, Prof Ivara Ejemot Esu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, disclosed that Meningitis is a dangerous disease affecting children and that this disease could cause death or permanent deformity in children by affecting their intellectual ability.
Dr Edu lauded the efforts of traditional, religious and community leaders, and development partners for their doggedness and resilience toward the promotion of healthcare for the people of the State.
She further stated, “The Government of Senator Prof Ben Ayade is committed to ensuring every eligible child is reached with this life-saving potent vaccines, as no child deserves to die from any vaccine preventable disease. We have trained over 3000 health workers and they have been deployed in teams for these activities with logistics fully provided. I am confident we will hit the 100% target.”
Director General of Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, in her remarks, commended the Governor for his show of concern and support to ensuring that every child is protected against Meningitis and other vaccine preventable diseases.
Dr Ekpenyong called on mothers to ensure that they take their children to medical facilities for vaccination, stressing that they should make the best use of the opportunity.
The representative of NPHCDA, Dr Halima Tafida, revealed that with so many Nigerians at risk from meningitis every year, immunization with the MeneA vaccine can help to limit outbreaks.
Speaking on behalf of the development partners, Chief Operating Officer of Mediatrix Development Foundation, Mr Jeffrey Adamade used the occasion to restate the commitment and focus of the partners toward strengthening as well as repositioning the health sector of the State to meet the yearnings of the citizens.
Highlight of the event was the vaccination of children present by the Deputy Governor’s Representative, Dr Betta Edu and DG CRSPHCDA, Dr Janet Ekpenyong.