The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) said it would vaccinate over 620, 000 children, between the ages of 9 months to 5 years, in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), against measles disease.
Briefing newsmen on the 2018 measles follow-up campaign, scheduled for February 8th to 20th, in the FCT, the secretary of FCTA Health and Human Services Secretariat (HHSS), Barrister Elizabeth Amanda Pam, said that the campaign shall take place in all the 62 wards of the territory.
Represented by Dr. Bamidele Babade, a director in the secretariat, Pam added that Primary Health Care (PHC) facilities, outreach sites, public hospitals, offering routine immunization services, would be used as vaccination posts.
She explained that the reasons for the 2018 vaccination campaign is as a result of an upsurge in measles cases, particularly in the last quarter of 2016 and first quarter of 2017, as well as poor routine coverage and outbreaks.
The secretary noted that Nigeria implemented the catch-up campaign in 2005, 2006 and a follow-up campaign in 2008, 2011, 2013 and 2015, adding that the 2018 campaign is needed to curb the 2016 and 2017 pockets of measles outbreak in the country.
She continued: “Incidentally, these campaigns have not met the required coverage target of 95%. In the 2015 campaign, the national average was 84.5% – Not good enough to reduce the burden of the disease. So measles cases/ incidence and outbreaks continued till date.”
Pam stated that Nigeria would need to achieve and maintain 95 per cent vaccination coverage against the disease, within each local government area, through routine and supplementary immunization campaigns, to reach the goal of measles elimination in the country.
Earlier in a welcome address, acting secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board (FCT-PHCB), Dr. Matthew Ashikeni had explained that the measles campaign was meant to give children of FCT full protection, against measles, which, according to him, is a very deadly disease that could lead to complications.
Ashikeni gave an assurance that the campaign would achieve 100 per cent coverage, adding, “We are sensitizing, moblising, educating and ensuring that the people of FCT admit that immunization is important, saves lives, protective, safe and free.”
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