The Anambra State government has flagged off round 1 routine immunisation to prevent the outbreak of meningitis and other killer diseases among children in the state.
At the ceremony held at the Red Cross Headquarters Awka, on Friday, the state Governor, Chief Willie Obiano said that the vaccine was introduced to strengthen the health system and reduce morbidity, mortality as well as other communicable diseases in the state.
Represented by the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health, Dr. John Ndube, the governor, explained that meningitis is one of the diseases that affect under 5 years children in Nigeria.
He said about 25 to 26 states in Nigeria are in the meningitis belt. Apart from being in the meningitis belt, the global nature of the world today and high mobility of Nigerians has rendered the issue of being in meningitis belt irrelevant.
Dr. Ndube noted that the vaccine would help to boost children immunity against the outbreak of diseases.
He called on parents to join hands with the government in Anambra to prevent diseases and untimely death among children.
The chief executive officer, Anambra Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Dr. Uliagbafusi Placid Nnamdi, said it was a good step to vaccinate children against life-threatening childhood diseases through immunisation, with an appeal to nursing mothers to take advantage of the exercise.
Also speaking during the flags off ceremony, the Transition Chairman, Awka South Local Government, Chief Leo Nwuba, said the new vaccine introduced into routine immunization schedule Nationwide, is a step further in improving the health status of the children in his local government and the entire state in general.
He commends the state governor for his unparalleled interest in health care of the people of the state which he said always translates to his timely approval and release of funds for health development in the state.
A representative of the World Health organisation WHO, Dr Chuma Anya, who speak on behalf of other partner agency, the UNICEF, advised parents to ensure that their children completed all routine immunisation.