Yellow Fever : Health workers urge FG on strengthened surveillance

Health workers are seeking a mass campaign and vaccination process amid  imminent threat of yellow fever.

According to President, Nigerian Academy of Science, Professor Oyewale Tomori, being the only country in West Africa that is yet to conduct a preventive mass campaign and vaccination across the country, serious danger looms for the country should there be a breakout of the disease.

Tomori who noted that a large number of people in the country were suceptible, stressed that government at all levels must strengthen survellance.

According to him, no case should become an epidemic if promptly addressed.

“It is very essential and with early detection in good place,  good laboratories and an effective awareness campaign,” he said.

He, however, disclosed that the health sector was launching an immediate response to stretch surveillance and immunisation efforts.

According to him, the emergency campaign aims to reach 1.3 million children in the surrounding areas and five other vaccination campaigns are being planned for later in the month.

“Every year, we have about five to seven million children born in this country. If we dont vaccinate the children, they become the vulnerable adults.”

According to him, about 3.8 million children need to be immunised yearly.This means about 15 million in the next 15 years.

In ansother five years, we are looking at a particular number of people that are susceptible to the disease.

He also added that countries like sGambia overcame the threat of yellow fever with mass campaign and vaccination.

In his own view, Managing Director, May and Baker Nigeria Plc, Mr Nnamdi Okafor reiterated the need for policies and mechanism that would enable the private sector to come into the vaccine production.

He added that local production of vaccines was a fundermental public health security issue which the present administration must take seriously

Okafor stated that the private sector should be allowed to go ahead with the production while government should put in place regulations.

He said: “The government eyes more than 95 per cent of vaccines that are used in the country with no local capacity”, stressing the need for private sector involvement and capacity building.