From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia
As Nasarawa state joined the African vaccination week annual event, the state commissioner of health Doctor Daniel Iya said that arrangement has been concluded for rallies, road shows at Toto and Lafia Local government councils as well as media discussion and intensified outreach services on immunization across the thirteen (13) local government areas of the state.
Doctor Iya who stated this during a press conference to mark the African vaccination week (AVW) at the conference Hall of the Nasarawa State Primary Health Care Development Agency NASPHDA with the theme: “Vaccine works, be an immunization champion”.
According to him “The African Vaccination week is an annual event celebrated during the last week of April in Synchronization with other WHO regions and the World Immunization Week (WIW) with series of media and public events that will direct the people’s attention to government commitment towards achieving universal vaccination coverage across the state”.
He added that the goal of African Vaccination Week is to strengthen Immunization programmes in Nasarawa and Nigeria in general by increasing awareness of the importance of every person’s need and right to be protected from vaccine preventable diseases.
“It is aimed at keeping immunization high on the state and national agendas through advocacy and partnership. It also promotes delivery of other high impact life saving intervention”. He maintained”.
Doctor Iya explained that immunization is one of the most successful and cost effective public health interventions; adding that immunization currently averts an estimated 2 to 3 million deaths every year. He however said that an additional 1.5 million deaths could be avoided if global vaccination coverage improves.
The commissioner further appealed to individuals to get vaccinated and update their immunization status throughout life’s course as well as ensuring full involvement and contribution of all stakeholders to make sure every one is reached with vaccines and other health interventions.
Doctor Iya further commended governor Almakura for his relentless efforts towards re-positioning PHC in general and immunization in particular as well as royal fathers, religious leaders and media organization for their great strides towards effective immunization programmes in the state.
Contributing on the significant of vaccination, the Nasarawa state coordinator world Health organization WHO Doctor Idong-Ubong called for collective actions from other development agencies towards effective immunization exercise in order to achieve the desire goal.
“Everyone person should join hand in this exercise. There is the need for all of us to sensitize our community leaders, individuals, government to fully participate. Ensure that vaccines are made available to all children for the exercise effect from 23 to 29 of this month”. Doctor Ubong maintained.