By Damilola Kushimo
The Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Isolo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Dr. Ajayi has confirmed that the 2018 statewide vaccination and immunization against measles exercise would commence on March 1st through March 13th, 2018.
The MOH revealed this exclusively to Echonews during a chat at her office during the week where she highlighted that measles is a viral disease which affects many children having led to several cases of deficiencies among children in the past.
She stated that the objective of the vaccination, which takes place once in three years with the last one in 2015, is to reduce child mortality and possible outbreak of measles and also to proactively prevent the disease among children within the age bracket of 95 months (5 years).
With awareness underway Dr. Ajayi made it known that the vaccination exercise would be in two phases; one slated for 1st of March through the 6th day of March while the second phase would be conducted subsequently beginning from 8th of March through the 16th of the same month.
However, she explained that the first phase would be done in the first 10 LGA and their LCDAs but Isolo LCDA falls into the second phase which will be from March 8th through 16th.
She also made it known that children, irrespective of their immunization status from nine months old to five years are eligible for the vaccination as she urged the parents and guardians to make their children available at designated places which cut across schools, PHCs’ event centers and so on.
According to her, measles is a viral illness which affects many children and comes along with some complications that are life-threatening.
“If a child has never been immunized and have measles, he/she can lose his/her eyes, become malnourished, become deaf, experience kidney failure and many more, that is why we do this immunization campaign every three years to build immunity against measles.
“The last one we had was in 2015. It served as a booster dose for children between the age of nine months and five years, irrespective of their immunization status. It is to prevent an outbreak of measles,” she explained.
She added, “This one we are going to do now has been divided into phases, the North has started theirs. The South – South-West and South-East will be doing theirs between March 1st and 18th. The first 10 LGAs in Lagos state will be done from March 1st through 6th. We (Isolo LCDA) fall into the second phase between March 8th and 17th.
“We’ll be at various designated points, mobilizing people in those areas to bring their children between nine months and five years to have the vaccination.”
Speaking further, Ajayi revealed that though there has not been issue of measles outbreak in the state, it mostly happen during winter since it is an air-borne disease.
Additionally, the Presiding Nurse of Ire-Akari Primary Health Centre, Miss Abdullraheem revealed that the health centre was much ready for the exercise same as the other five PHCs in Isolo LCDA and other designated places such as schools, Churches and residential apartments.
She stated that house to house campaign would be used to ensure every eligible children is immunized against the disease. According to world health organization WHO measles vaccination prevented an estimated 17.1million death between 2000 and 2014, making measles vaccine one of the best buys in public health.