By Oginyi Ruth
Ebonyi State Government said over 1 million persons from 3 Local Government Areas of the state had been targeted for Yellow Fever vaccine immunization between 6th to 16th September 2019.
The immunization is for people between the ages of 9 months to 44 years residing in Abakaliki, Izzi and Ebonyi Local Government Areas of the state.
The immunization was approved by NTCC and it is coming few weeks after Yellow Fever outbreak was recorded in Izzi Local Government Area of the state leaving some people dead including a nursing mother.
Speaking with Journalists in Abakaliki, the state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezuruike said every arrangement has been put in place to achieve a successful campaign with good coverage of the exercise and urged residents of the area to feel free and go about their businesses.
He added that the remaining ten local government areas would be vaccinated later.
He said, “For this activity, 374 teams will be working in the 3 Local Government Areas targeting to immunize everybody between the ages of 9 months to 44 years which constitutes 85% of the population.
The campaign will be carried out in fixed and temporary posts, especially in primary health centers and targeting churches, schools and any other social gathering as may be deemed necessary.”
He maintained that the campaign is not a house to house activity and therefore, urged residents of these three Local Government Areas within the targeted age group to go to the nearest post to be vaccinated.
Dr. Umezurike, however, called on community leaders, clergymen, heads of schools and teachers to cooperate with the vaccinators to immunize their wards through the administration of a single dose of 0.5ml subcutaneous injection, adding that the vaccinators have been adequately trained for this purpose.
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“We thank the ICG which includes NPHCDA, NCDC, WHO, UNICEF, MSF and other partners/CSO for their support in controlling the outbreak and for this reactive immunization campaign.”
“In addition to this campaign, other routine immunization activities in other LGAs which also includes but not limited to yellow fever vaccination at 9th month of life should continue.”
He further revealed that the recent yellow fever outbreak in the state lasted for five weeks, and eleven cases were recorded while two deaths were encountered, though due to late presentation to the hospital.
He added that the outbreak was reported from border villages lying between Ebonyi, Benue and Cross River States.
The communities affected include, Nkomoru, Ndinworgu, Ndinwigwe, Ndingele ward, Nzenyi in Mbabeleuzor ward of Izzi LGA.
He said there were recorded isolated cases in seven other Local Government Areas, which were Ebonyi, Ohaozara, Ivo, Afikpo North, Abakaliki, Ezza North and Ezza South, “though some were not actually substantiated”, he added