BY SIMON EBEGBULEM
GOVERNOR Godwin Obaseki of Edo State yesterday kicked off the 2017 National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) at New Benin Market, Benin City, charging women to get their children who are up to five years for immunization.
The governor said that his administration was committed to strengthening immunisation activities as it provided a holistic approach to the prevention of diseases through vaccination, thereby reducing infant and child mortality.
Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki
According to him, “I understand that the state achieved 76% immunisation coverage as at February this year. I want to assure you that my administration will make it 100% by improving health service delivery in the state.”
He advised parents, especially mothers, to allow their wards receive immunisation noting that unimmunised children would predispose the state to outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases.
“We are commencing the implementation of the ‘Save a Million Lives’ Programme in the state to ensure that maternal and infant mortality is reduced. We intend to set up a telephone line to allow people report cases of childbirth, and ensure that immunisation follows for the children. We want to also ensure that every market has a primary health care centre with a nurse and necessary facilities and also provide water in our markets to reduce health challenges,” he said.
The state Coordinator of the World Health Organisation, Faith Ireye, commended the state for sustaining a Polio-free state for the past seven years. She said that the Organisation would continue to collaborate with the state to ensure that children lived healthy lives.
She, however, called for more collective responsibility among stakeholders to ensure the eradication of Polio, noting that Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only three countries in the world endemic to the disease.
She added that the Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) would be winding up its support for immunisation, calling on governments to start planning on how to take responsibility of the immunisation programme.