Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has called on stakeholders to intensify efforts to ensure that children are vaccinated to protect them from ailments and diseases that deprive them of a healthy, fulfilling life.
Governor Obaseki, who said this in commemoration of the Africa Vaccination Week celebrated from April 23 to 29, specifically every last week in April, said that the call became necessary owing to the growing importance of vaccination of children to stem infant mortality and safeguard their future.
He said the week marked as one of the initiatives of the World Health Organisation (WHO)â€™s Regional Office for Africaâ€™s effort to ramp up sensitisation on the need for immunisation.
According to him, â€œWe have recorded modest success in the stateâ€™s immunisation campaign due to a reward system that saw each local government jostle to get every child at the ward level take the vaccine. The state-wide campaign was adjudged successful by the in-country teams of our donors and we are happy to be setting the pace.â€
Noting that the state government is setting up structures to sustain the gains recorded and also get more support from the rural communities, he said, â€œWe will not relent in this campaign. Already, the local government chairmen have picked the baton from us and are aggressively pursuing the immunisation campaign with renewed vigour.â€
He stressed that the 500 healthcare centres to be built across the wards in the state will also fast- track the delivery of healthcare services, noting that the overall strategy is to ensure that no child is left behind.
He said the theme for the 2018 commemoration, â€˜Vaccines work, Do your part!â€ draws attention to the need for stakeholders to work together towards ensuring the goals set for immunisation in Nigeria and other parts of Africa are attained, adding, â€œWe do not just need to work together, we need to ensure that we are not working at cross-purpose to ensure that efforts align and that the mission to reach every Nigerian child with vaccines is accomplished.â€
According to the WHO, â€œThe over-arching slogan of African Vaccination Week (AVW) is â€œVaccinated Communities, Healthy Communitiesâ€. This yearâ€™s theme highlights the collective action needed to ensure that every person is protected from vaccine-preventable diseases. It urges greater action on immunisation across Africa, with a particular focus on spotlighting the role that everyone can play in this effort, from donors to individuals.â€