By Ijeoma UKAZU
The Lagos State Government has announced its plan to vaccinate five million children aged nine to 59 months in the 2022 integrated Measles vaccination campaign.
State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi who made the announcement today at a press briefing heralding the commencement of the measles vaccination exercise in Lagos State disclosed, “The children are expected to be immunized during the 16 days campaign which falls between Friday 17th and Friday 24th June and from Monday 27th June to Monday 4th July 2022 in all 57 local government and local council development areas of the State.
Abayomi said: “The Lagos State Government in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, World Health Organization, WHO, United Nations Children Fund, UNICEF and other development partners will be conducting an Integrated Measles Campaign across all 57 LGAs and LCDAs in the State in line with the National Measles Elimination Strategic Plan 2018-2028.”
He noted that the forthcoming measles vaccination campaign will be integrated with other primary healthcare services and routine immunization to improve efficiency and effectiveness, especially at the primary healthcare level whilst also providing an opportunity for parents and caregivers to access multiple services at the same time.
“The measles vaccine will be provided to children aged 9 to 59 months with Vitamin A supplements for children aged 6-59 months. Routine immunization services will be available from birth up to 23 months, while COVID vaccination will also be available for adults who are 18 years and above as part of our integrated vaccination campaign approach”, he said.
Abayomi explained that the campaign will be conducted for eight days each in two streams, consisting of 10 LGAs and appurtenances LCDA per stream to maximize resources and ensure that all the eligible populations are reached during the campaign.
“The first stream will commence on the Friday 17th to Friday 24th of June, 2022, and the participating LGAs are Agege, Ajeromi, Alimosho, Amuwo-Odofin, Badagry, Ibeju, Kosofe, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island and Surulere.
“The second stream will start on Monday 27th of June to Monday 4th of July, 2022 and the remaining ten LGAs and its appurtenances LCDAs- Apapa, Epe, Eti-Osa, Ifako-Ijaiye, Ikeja, Mushin, Oshodi-Isolo, Ojo and Somolu will be covered”, he stated.
He appealed to parents and caregivers to ensure that all the target population of children in Lagos receive the measles vaccine and other routine immunization services during the campaign, noting that the responsibility to vaccinate all eligible children against measles is not that of the parents and caregivers alone but on everybody including religious, community and political leaders to ensure that children are protected against childhood preventable diseases.
The Health Commissioner said, “I want to assure the good people of Lagos State that Immunization is safe and effective and I, therefore, call on all Lagosians to take advantage of this mass campaign that will be commencing on the 17th of June 2022.”
Contributing, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Ibrahim Mustafa explained that a total of 1,800 vaccination teams will be available per stream across the LGAs and LCDAs to implement the measles vaccination campaign and other routine immunization services.
He added that the teams would man fixed and temporary fixed posts which include public and selected private hospitals, schools, clinics in religious houses and houses of influential community leaders, stressing that this is in a bid to reach the eligible population and achieve a 100 percent vaccination coverage.
Mustafa said, “To ensure the success of this year’s integrated measles campaign, the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board in collaboration with our development partners have conducted training sessions for health workers and implementers who will drive the exercise to strengthen their capacity.
“We are currently embarking on massive media and social mobilization campaigns especially at local government, community and grassroots level to sensitize, enlighten and mobilize citizens effectively for a successful campaign”