Oyo State governor, Senator Abiola Ajimobi, on Wednesday, inaugurates the use of Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) in the state, and said that it will protect at least one million children below one year from dying from pneumonia and meningitis.
Governor Ajimobi was represented by his Health Commissioner, Dr Azeez Adeduntan, at the ceremony held at Ibadan North Local Government council headquarters.
Ajimobi said the introduction of the new vaccine into the state’s immunisation schedule was part of efforts of his government to reduce deaths in children and indirectly, their mothers.
According to him, “children that have pneumonia have at least 20 per cent risk of dying if nothing is done. So, what we are trying to do is to improve the infant mortality ratio of Oyo State which is at 61 per 1,000 live births.”
Ajimobi, who declared that the vaccine was free in all the state’s health facilities, urged mothers to ensure that their babies are immunised against vaccine preventable diseases like pneumonia and meningitis.
Earlier, Executive Director, Oyo State Primary Health Care Agency, Dr Lanre Abass, said Oyo State was one of the 16 states to have the PCV introduced into its routine immunisation schedule.
Abass assured of the vaccines safety and added that the state has 267,600 doses of the PCV.
Chairman, Ibadan North Local Government, Honourable Yinka Akinbode, also stressed the need for mothers to exclusively breastfeed their babies and maintain home and personal hygiene as part of measures to ensure their babies are healthy.