ASPHCDA, UNICEF organise Stakeholders/Media partners’ meeting on measles immunisation awareness

Awka-Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in collaboration with United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has organised Stakeholders/Media partners’ meeting on measles immunisation awareness.

The meeting, held at the Prince Paradise Hotel, Awka was to sensitise the people more on introduction of measles’ second dose vaccination into Routine Immunisation (RI).

Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu urged the stakeholders/media partners to use their different platforms in disseminating proper information about immunisation with emphasis on measles vaccination.

“This is because measles’ second dose vaccination is a new introduction into Routine Immunisation. It was formerly administered to children at 9 months but in 2019, a second dose was introduced at 15 months.

 “We noticed that mothers are reluctant to bring out their children for immunisation following rumours of Coronavirus vaccine,’’ she said.

Dr Ezenyimulu noted that measles had debilitating side effects and complications that could lead to blindness and death in children.

“This is why NPHCDA thought it wise to introduce a second dose in order to ensure adequate protection of children from the illness.’’

She educated participants on Coronavirus, emphasising the importance of adhering to Government’s, Health Authorities’ directives in protecting oneself from the disease such as regular hand washing, wearing of face masks and observing social distancing.

Head of Department (HOD), Immunisation and Disease Control, ASPHCDA, Dr Nnamdi Placid Uliagbafusi noted that the essence of Measles second dose was to increase the herd immunity in the community.

“It has been discovered that Measles first dose given at 9 months gives 85 per cent instead of 100 per cent protection against the illness.

“So children not protected by the first dose will be protected by the second dose. It also provides opportunity for children who missed it at 9 months to receive it at 15 months.”

He urged participants to support immunisation in children under two years as they had been equipped with the knowledge that immunisation would now be extended to the child in the second year of life.

 Mr Diden Gbofeyin, UNICEF Vaccine Security Logistics (VSL) Consultant, expressed gratitude to the stakeholders/media partners for supporting UNICEF activities in the state, especially as it concerned women and children.

“We know that we are having challenges due to COVID-19 pandemic; so, we urge you to continue to support immunisation and help to pass on the information that immunisation services are available in health facilities in spite of COVID-19 pandemic.’’

UNICEF Desk Officer, Ministry of Information, Mrs Chineze George-Ileka urged participants to use their various offices in propagating the safety of immunisation as it would go a long way in safe-guarding health of Ndi Anambra.

Source: Anambra State Government