Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
Abia State Government has concluded plans to commence campaign to save children from measles, a dreaded child killer disease.
The campaign which would kick off March 8, 2018 would run till March 20 targeting children from nine months to five years, the age bracket considered to be most vulnerable to measles attack.
Abia is partnering the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Childrenâ€™s Fund (UNICEF) in the campaign.
State Health Educator in the Abia State Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA), Mrs. Meg Onwu said that health teams that would conduct the vaccination exercise had been raised and trained in all the 17 local governments of Abia.
She said that each team was composed of seven health workers comprising two vaccinators, two recorders, a house mobiliser, town crier and crowd controller, adding that each team member has defined task to carry out to ensure success of the anti-measles campaign.
She explained that the integrated measles campaign was a follow-up campaign carried out every two years with the last exercise conducted in 2016 hence the need for a fresh campaign in 2018 to protect children.
â€œIt is done to provide more security for our children. Measles is a very dangerous disease that can lead to death of children,â€ she said, adding that the integrated measles campaign was not aimed at eliminating measles but reducing the burden of measles attack.
Onwu further explained that, unlike routine immunisation which is a house-to-house exercise, the integrated measles campaign would take place in designated health clinics and temporary health posts created for the vaccination exercise.
She said that the teams to carry out the measles vaccination were selected from the localities where they would be assigned for the exercise to avoid the anxieties created in Abia last year when rumours broke out about monkey pox vaccination.