Edo State Government has announced the introduction of a new vaccine, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (P.C.V) to the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) at the Central Hospital, Benin City schedule.
Speaking during the ceremony, Edo State Commissioner for Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Aihanuwa Eregie said that Pneumococcal organisms are major causes of several childhood disease including Pneumonia, ear infection (Otites Media), Sinus infection, bronchitis meningitis and blood stream infection. According to her, the infections are quite common in children of ages 1-59 months.
She noted that the organism is transmitted through droplet spread or contact with surface contaminated with the secretions from patients or health carriers.
Dr. Eregie further stated that the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that over 800,000 children under five years of age die from Pneumococcal disease each years, with children in developing countries being most at risk.
According to her, in Nigeria, Pneumococcal alone accounts for 16 percent of all deaths within this age group.
â€œEdo State Government through the ministry of Health has always maintained an unwavering commitment to the implementation of all PHC activities, especially immunization in place, all necessary machinery to ensure that PCV introduction is highly successful in the state.
She however appealed to Mothers and caregiver to embrace the PCV like other antigens being used in the health facilities by taking their children below one year to the health facilities nearest to them for the vaccine which is very potent, safe and free.
In his address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Peter Ughodaga said that the state is privileged to be among the first 12 states in Nigeria to introduce the PCV as well as first in the South-South region of Nigeria to kick start the project.
He advised mothers to ensure that their children under one year of age complete the full dose of the vaccine while enjoining mothers, healthcare providers and all stakeholders to ensure they do what they need to do to protect the children.
In their separate goodwill messages, WHO State Coordinator, Mrs. Faith Ireye and the representative of National Primary Health Development Agency, Rev. Rock Odeka commended the State Government for the prompt response to health related matters in the state. They pledged their full support to the success of all health programmes in Edo State.
Source: The Nigerian Observer