by Suoyo Ekubo
In line with the National Measles Elimination Strategic Plan, Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board has scheduled a date for Integrated Measles Vaccination campaign in all the 23 Local government areas of State for children 9months to 5 years.
The forthcoming Integrated Measles vaccination campaign which is billed to commence on 6 October 2022 will be in two streams.
The first stream will commence on the 6th to 11th October 2022, and the participating LGAs are Eleme, Emohua, Etche, Gianna, Obio/Akpo, Omuma, Oyigbo, Port Harcourt, and Tai.
The second stream will start on 12th to 19th October 2022 and the remaining 12 LGAs Abua/Odual, Ahoada East, Ahoada West, Akuku Toru, Andoni, Asari Toru, Bonny, Degema, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Ogu Bolo, Okrika and Opobo nkoro.
Announcing this in a media coordination meeting for integrated measles campaign on Wednesday 14 September 2022, Dr Diana Babbo said “some persons may find it difficult to go to the facilities to get their derivations, so during campaigns government take the extra pain to plan this group of people and actually go to them and ensure that they get vaccinated
“The primary goal of (SIA) Supplementary Immunisation Activity is to vaccinate every single eligible child focusing on children from hard to reach and under served population who have limited access to regular health services and are missed by (RI) Routine Immunisation. Target – SIA antigen 95% coverage, RI antigen 90%, Covid -19 antigen 90%.”
“Measles is a vaccine preventable disease in children, characterised by high fever, Cough, catarrh, red eyes, after like three or four days rash on the body of child known as maculopapular rashes. For children that are not vaccinated, there are consequences and aftermath of having measles infection and part of it is pneumonia, severe diarrhea, blindness, deafness and sometimes brain infection.
“So we are particular about the aftermath of measles in our children and it is a disease that is contagious. The child can catch the infection and recover from it and be immunised or be vaccinated to prevent the infection. Two doses of the vaccine are given at 9 months of the child for the first dose and 15 to 18 months for the second dose. And these two doses can give protection for the child.
The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board in collaboration with World Health Organization (WHO) and United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), will be conducting an Integrated Measles Campaign across all 23 LGAs in Rivers State. Therefore, parents and caregivers are advised to vaccinate their eligible children during the exercise.