Pro­vide vac­cine against measles out­break, NMA tells FG

The Punch - - HEALTH - Olufemi Atoyebi, Abuja

The Nige­ria Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion has called on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to pro­vide vac­ci­na­tion against measles and to ex­pand the cov­er­age of vac­ci­na­tion in or­der to pre­vent a pos­si­ble out­break of the dis­ease in Nige­ria.

The Na­tional Cen­tre for Dis­ease Con­trol said in its weekly re­port on the man­age­ment of dis­eases in the coun­try that about 446 sus­pected cases of measles with one death were recorded in 133 coun­cil ar­eas in 27 states, yet none was con­firmed via lab­o­ra­tory tests and no death was recorded.

It said that the Na­tional Measles Tech­ni­cal Work­ing Group closely mon­i­tored sur­veil­lance data and re­sponse ac­tiv­i­ties across the coun­try and it re­viewed the measles guide­line.

The NCDC added that it would con­tinue with the re­view of measles sur­veil­lance data across the coun­try.

In an in­ter­view with our correspond­ent, the Pres­i­dent of the NMA, Dr Fran­cis Faduy­ile, called on the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment to in­ten­sify mea­sures to pre­vent out­breaks of measles and other dis­eases in states where some cases were recorded lately.

he said, “Measles is a dis­ease that can be con­trolled by im­mu­ni­sa­tion. To tackle the dis­ease, we have to im­prove on our im­mu­ni­sa­tion cov­er­age. We have al­ways stated the im­por­tance of hav­ing a sta­ble pri­mary health care man­age­ment.

“We need to also en­sure that it is func­tional. If the pri­mary health care sys­tem is func­tional and our chil­dren are im­mu­nised ap­pro­pri­ately, most of these cases will be taken care of. The na­tional im­mu­ni­sa­tion day rep­re­sents a fire bri­gade ap­proach and this is an area where gov­ern­ment should look into.”

A na­tional sur­vey had put vac­ci­na­tion cov­er­age of measles at 41.8 per cent be­tween 2016 and 2017. Ac­cord­ing to Faduy­ile, to ex­pand the cov­er­age of im­mu­ni­sa­tion to ar­eas where there is in­se­cu­rity, the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment must draft se­cu­rity op­er­a­tives to work with im­mu­ni­sa­tion of­fi­cers and pro­vide se­cu­rity to en­able them to carry out vac­ci­na­tion in ar­eas af­fected by in­sur­gency.

he said, “We need to start pro­vid­ing se­cu­rity for im­mu­ni­sa­tion of­fi­cers so that they can reach out to chil­dren and peo­ple in the ar­eas where there is in­sur­gency. Com­mu­nity mo­bil­i­sa­tion is equally im­por­tant. If the com­mu­ni­ties are made aware of the im­por­tance of im­mu­ni­sa­tion and the im­pli­ca­tion of not hav­ing it, they will find a way to get im­mu­nised.

“The prob­lem is that noth­ing has been done to make the sys­tem work seam­lessly. That is why we said that the pri­mary health care sys­tem should be strength­ened. Once we achieve that, there won’t be out­breaks of dis­eases and re­ported cases any longer.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.