Measles: Kwara Vaccinates 700,000 Children

Date: 2023-11-29

No fewer than 700,000 children have been vaccinated in the 2023 measles campaign across the 16 local government areas of Kwara State.

The Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Nusirat Elelu, disclosed this at the 40th Media Parliament of the state council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Ilorin, the state capital on Tuesday.

At the event, themed “Transforming Primary Health Care Beyond Lip Service”, Elelu said the vaccination effort has helped to build the immune systems of a number of children to combat measles.

She noted that there was no report of outbreak of circulating variant polio virus (cVPV) in almost 24 months while the state was previously with the highest cVPV report in 2019.

Elelu added that the state has made significant improvement in vaccination, leading its peers in the north central geopolitical zone.

“Kwara continues on a positive trajectory to improve its vaccination coverage, with a rate of 66.5 percent, one of the top three in North Central. This is a tremendous improvement as our coverage of under one year old vaccinated in 2016 stood at 33.9 percent.

“Kwara State was moved out of the immunization zero-dose state in the country, thus paving the way for an improved routine immunisation coverage,” she said.

On COVID-19, Elelu said the state emerged overall best in the country for vaccination against the killer virus, adding that it was also named among the five states to achieve over 80 percent vaccination coverage.

“Our innovative public health strategy during the COVID-19 vaccine introduction brought about the establishment of mass vaccination sites in the state Ministry of Health premises and market places long before it was recommended by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.

“This led to Kwara State doubling the number of vaccinated individuals from 42 percent to 82 percent within six months and also one of the top five performing states in the country,” Elelu added.

She also disclosed that the state this year provided free tablets of haematinic and anti-malaria drugs to 300,000 pregnant women across the 16 local government areas, thus surpassing the ANRiN 2023 target.

“This achievement has led to a huge reduction from 1,508 to 570 pregnant women reported with severe anaemia,” she added.

Earlier, the chairman, state council of NUJ, Abdullateef Ahmed, had identified primary health as a critical component in the health sector, which requires adequate funding and healthy relationship with development partners to aid medical supplies for the benefit of the people, especially at the grassroots, who visit public health facilities the most.

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