By; PAMELA EBOH, Awka
Anambra State in partnership with agencies in the health sector has introduced the second dose of measles vaccines into routine immunisation process.
The process is geared towards attaining the global goals for measles elimination from 2012 to 2020.
Speaking during a press conference at the Anambra Stste Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Awka, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Vincent Okpala described measles as a highly infectious air borne disease caused by a virus through respiratory droplets.
He said, “Measles is one of the childhood killer diseases that tend to occur in epidemics. It’s mortality rate is higher among children below 5-yr-old who live in overcrowded conditions.
“As a viral disease, it cannot be treated but rather can preventedul using Measles containing vaccine.
“Currently, about 70 per cent of measles cases are among childre under five years who missed being vaccinated in the first year of their lives.
“The exercise is aimed at attaining the global goals for measles elimination from 2012 to 2020.”
Okpala said the state collaborated with other partners to introduce Measles containing Vaccine 2 into routine immunisation scheduled for children aged 15 months.
He explained that the introduction of immunisation for the second year of life further extends children’s eligibility for immunisation to 23months adding that children between 0-23months is eligible for vaccination.
The Commissioner called on parents, caregivers and schools to allow children to be immunized saying that it is their right so as to ensure healthy growth among children.
He said that health officers would be at designated health facilities to offer routine immunisation and at mobile posts in a catchment area to give Measles Containing Vaccine, (MOI)