By DEO AKINBO, Abuja
The Federal Government has re-affirmed its commitment towards eradication of measles in Nigeria by year 2020.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, made this statement in Abuja, earlier today, during the flag –off of National Measles follow –up campaign.
The Minister pointed out that measles is rated among the top five causes of morbidity and mortality among children under-five in Nigeria, adding that over 523,000 deaths were reported in the year 2000 alone.
Prof. Adewole emphasized that measles vaccination had played a key role in reducing child mortality and in achieving progress towards attainment of Millennium Development Goal 4.
He also announced that the 2015 National Measles Follow-up would be implemented in Northern Clusters from 21st -25th November 2015, while the Southern Clusters are scheduled to take off from 28th January – 1st February 2016. He declared that over 39 million children 9-59 months of age, are being targeted in 2015 for immunisation in the country.
Prof. Adewole informed that the campaign is supported by the Federal Government, Gavi and other developmental Partners. He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment to programmes in the Health sector.
In his remark, the Hon. Minister, FCT, Alhaji Mohammed Bello, represented by the Acting Secretary of Health, FCT, Mrs. Odey Achu, said that the campaign is aimed at administering a booster dose to children already vaccinated and as an opportunity for reaching out to “ missed children” that is, children that ought to have been vaccinated in the earlier rounds. He added that this intervention have been shown to be cost effective, of high impact and result-oriented, in respect of improving child health in the FCT and the Nation at large.
Bello pledged that FCT would support and collaborate with all relevant agencies and stakeholders in the health sector towards eradication of Measles by the year 2020.
The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ado Mohammed, noted that the National flag-off of measles follow up campaign is the first assignment of the Hon. Minister. He also lauded the technical support of the developmental partners and others stakeholder in the health sector.