By Ogochukwu Nwaokafor
The First Lady of Anambra State, Mrs Nonye Soludo, has disclosed plans to vaccinate over 267,000 children against Rotavirus annually in Anambra State.
This was revealed during the African Vaccination Week and Rota Virus Vaccine Post Introduction Intensification Exercise in Onitsha, the commercial city of the state.
Mrs Soludo, on 25th May, affirmed that Rota Virus remained a major child-killer disease, with the number of deaths recorded annually, an indication that the disease must be wiped out without delay.
She encouraged mothers with children between the age of six weeks and 23 months to visit any health facility in the state and get their kids vaccinated.
She reminded them that the vaccination was administered free of charge and told the women to report anyone asking for money to administer the vaccine to the appropriate authorities.
Mrs Soludo said her husband’s administration was adopting best measures to achieve the lowest count on childhood mortality in the state.
She called on Nigerian mothers to always handle health related matters with utmost care.
While commending the World Health Organisation, WHO; the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF; and state-based health workers for the support they had shown to the current exercise and other programmes, Mrs Sloudo noted that the state had never failed to do the needful to maximize immunization coverage.
The Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, said as at April 2022, the number of children that had received the Rota Virus vaccination was 388, with the count rising above 10, 600 as at April 2023.
He also said that the number of children with Diarrhea related diseases as at April 2022, stood at 1,477, but had reduced to just 476 in April this year, showing that a significant result had been achieved since the vaccination began.
Fides observed that the compliance figure increased significantly from the dawn of the present administration in March 2022, with statistics revealing that thousands of children had been vaccinated between April last year and April 2023.
Fides gathered that the free Rota Virus vaccination was officially flagged off in Anambra State in December, 2021.
The Executive Secretary Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Chisom Uchem stated that the programme aimed at creating awareness on the importance of immunisation in ensuring that children get vaccinated in all localities.
She encouraged mothers to always make sure their children get immunized at the right time and urged them to always prioritize the healthcare of their children.
She further recognized the State Governor for the esteemed value placed on health and for investing hugely in the health sector.
The theme of the event was; “The Big Catch Up”. It was organised by the Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, ASPHCDA, in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health, WHO and UNICEF.
The ceremonial demonstration of the Rota virus vaccination on children by Mrs Soludo, was the highlight of the event.