Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
In other to ensure adequate healthcare services, especially at the primary level, Edo State Governor, Mr Godwin Obaseki, has flagged off meningitis vaccination in the state.
At the official flag off ceremony held in Benin City, the state capital recently, he said government has introduced Meningococcal A Conjugate vaccine (MEN A) into its routine immunisation.
The governor, who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, said the vaccination was introduced by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) as a single dose injection for children at nine months at the same time as measles and yellow fever vaccines.
Irowa listed the signs and symptoms of the disease to include fever, sudden onset of severe feeling of vomiting, irritability, neck stiffness, convulsion and loss of consciousness, adding that although meningitis can be treated, its complications include deafness, paralysis, seizures, mental retardation, arthritis and death.
He commended the efforts of all stakeholders, the NPHCDA, the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), among others, for their continued collaboration with the state government on its health programmes.
Executive Secretary, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), Dr. Mbarie Imuwahen, commended the governor for his unrelenting support to the health sector, including immunisation campaigns. She further reiterated that his administration has helped the state achieve and sustain the progress made so far in putting an end to diseases that can be prevented by a vaccine.
Mbarie appealed to caregivers and parents to accept the programme by ensuring that all children in the target group, aged nine – 15 months are immunised, noting, “This is because incomplete childhood immunisation will predispose our communities, state and country to outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Vaccinators have been instructed to administer MEN A vaccine to children in all health facilities, temporarily fixed posts and during outreaches in Edo State.”