From Gambo Ahmed, Lafia
Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State yesterday launched meningitis Afric (Men A. Vaccine into Routine Immunization for the children ranging nine (9) to fifteen (15) months of age.
The vaccines are aimed at protecting children from the dreaded disease.
The Governor called on stakeholders to embrace the federal and the state government’s target of improving the health status of children.
Performing the launching exercise in Shabu Development Area of Lafia Local Government Council, the Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Emmanuel Akabe said “Meningitis is an endemic disease and remains a major public health challenge in the country. It is caused by different pathogens including bacteria’s, viruses and fungi as well as a highest global burden”
Dr. Emmanuel emphasized that federal government at the national level had launched Meningitis “A” Vaccine into routine immunization on the 9th of August, 2019 as according to him… “This is the second phase of new vaccine introduced for the use of PVC-2 dose vaccine to PCV 4 dose vaccine in April, 2019”.
According to him, “Nasarawa State is among 25 states that falls within this meningitis belt in Nigeria. This translates to approximately 26.7 million people within the ages of 1-7 years who are at risk of meningitis in Nigeria. The introduction of Meningitis Afric (Men A) vaccine into the Routine (RI) immunization is aimed at providing protection against infection”.
He, however, applauded the traditional rulers, religions leaders, political leaders opinion leaders and other stakeholders for their significant roles in sensitizing mothers and caregivers in their various communities on immunization.
Also speaking at the event, the State Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Mallam Ishaku Abari implored stakeholders in the state especially traditional institution, religion institution, and women to embrace the exercise as well as commended UNICEF, WHO, and UNAIDS for their immense contribution towards the effective implementation of immunization in the state.
The Permanent Secretary, however, expressed the state government determination and commitment towards protecting children from dreaded diseases in the state; adding that the administration of A.A. Sule has taken the health sector as its top most priority.