Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
The Bauchi State Government yesterday unveiled anti-yellow fever campaign to immunise 500, 000 people in Alkaleri and Tafawa Balewa Local Government Areas to curtail the spread of the acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes.
The state governor, Senator Bala Mohammed disclosed the plan at the unveiling of aerial spray of Quella birds, mosquitoes and reactive vaccination in response to yellow fever at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi.
Mohammed explained that the exercise, which involved spray of affected areas and vaccination against yellow fever, was a testimony of the commitment of the administration to health issues and response to emergency.
The governor stated that the vaccination would be conducted for people in high risks areas of Alkaleri and Tafawa Balewa LGAs, thereby urging people living there to come forward for the vaccination.
He commended traditional rulers in the state particularly the Emir of Dass, Alhaji Bilyaminu Othman for creating awareness among their subjects regarding the outbreak of yellow fever in parts of the state.
He commended the development partners including the World Health Organisation (WHO), the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the Federal Ministry of Health, among others for supporting the state.
On the aerial spray of Quella birds, the governor lamented the menace of the birds on farm produce. He, however, commended the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development for providing aircraft needed to spray 38 rusty sites
He said: “The aircraft came at the needed time. We are leveraging on the federal government’s gesture to use the aircraft to spray the areas where the vector carrying Yellow Fever are believed to be.”
He added that his administration “will continue to give priority to health and preventive medicine, hence the declaration of state of emergency in the health sector and increase of the health budget to 16 per cent in the 2019 budget.
He said as a demonstration of the commitment of his administration to the sector, the state government had paid N200 million as counterpart funds to the Melinda and Bill Gates and the Dangote Foundation, UNICEF and USAID.
“Despite the state of emergency to reposition the health sector, indices such as the rates of Infant and maternal mortality are worrisome. I have therefore given marching order to the Commissioner for Health to convene a health summit to enable us know the gaps.”
Earlier in his remarks, the Director of the state Primary Health Care Developments, Dr Rilwanu Mohammed commended the state government for the prompt response to address the acute viral haemorrhagic disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes