Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
As part of effort to curtail the spread of measles and meningitis in children in Bauchi State, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has completed arrangement to vaccinate about two million children against the diseases across the state.
A consultant with UNICEF Field Office in Bauchi, Al Amin Barrow, disclosed this at a one-day orientation for journalists on the forthcoming Measles and Meningitis vaccination campaign from November16 to 23, 2019.
The consultant said under-five children and those not vaccinated are at the increased risk of contacting the diseases, stressing that “measles is a dangerous disease that kills children as it is contagious, while meningitis is a disease associated with high mortality.”
Barrow also said the state is targeting over 1.2million children from age 9 to 59 months to be vaccinated against measles while the targeted clients for meningitis A is expected to be over 1.7 million children between the age of 1 and 7 years to be vaccinated.
According to him, the disease affects babies, pre-school children as well as young children, and if not treated, can lead to brain damage, hearing loss or disability.
While appealing to caregivers to take the opportunity that the UN will provide to vaccinate their children and wards against the diseases, the consultant said it is the best way to prevent children from dying from the disease.
Barrow also disclosed that the vaccination would run concurrently and all eligible age groups are to be vaccinated irrespective of previous immunisation history.
The Programme Manager of the immunisation, Dr. Jibrin Umar, in his address, said meningitis A vaccine was in short supply which is why only children between the age of 1 and 7 will be vaccinated.
He said the idea was to boost their immunity as most mortality and morbidity are within this age group.
Umar said the orientation is to solicit the media support to create awareness on the campaign, saying the two vaccinations were free and is also part of the state routine immunisation scheduled.