Measles Outbreak: Bayelsa 2618 Health Workers, Procure 317 Vaccines To Communities

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Measles Outbreak: Bayelsa 2618 Health Workers, Procure 317 Vaccines To Communities
File Photo: Measles Outbreak In Borno
  • By Ebi Alexander – Yenagoa

The Government of Bayelsa State says it has mobilized 2, 618 health workers with the mandate to distribute 376, 000 doses vaccine across communities in order to control and eliminate the infectious measles disease.

Speaking during the flags-off of a Measles Campaign in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State Capital, the Commissioner for Health, Dr. Pabara Newton Igwele, revealed the state has recorded 42 cases and that there was urgent need to put the epidemic under control.

Giving further details, Dr. Igwele said that five out of the eight Local Government Areas of the state recorded the 43 cases and they include; Ekeremor 25 cases, Brass 13 cases, Sagbama three cases, Ogbia one case and Kolokuma/Opokuma one case.

He further explained that those eligible for the Measles vaccine are children between nine months and five years and that health workers will start going round communities across the state from Saturday November 27, 2021 to administer them.

He stated that the health workers will be taking the vaccines to churches, mosques, and schools in all communities across the state in order for it to be accessible to all who need it.

He added that the goal of the Campaign is to ensure that every child that is eligible receives the vaccine, such that by 2023 when this campaign will be organized again, the state would have been measles-free.

Dr. Igwele noted that Measles is very contagious which is worsened by any clustered environment and poverty, adding that it has no cure and should be prevented by any responsible govermment by any means possible.

He said symptoms of Measles infection include high fever, conjunctivitis, runny nose, diarrhea, pneumonia, and rashes, adding that a patient can infect between 4-18 people up to four days after the rash has disappeared.

The Health Commissioner also revealed that he received a commendation from the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire who praised the Ministry of Health’s effort to improve health care in the state.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Dr. Wisdom Sawyer encouraged Bayelsans to come out in their numbers to get vaccinated against the Measles disease.

He stressed that those who may have taken the vaccines before can still take it again, saying it will protect them against measles, and the vaccines are properly stored using the cold chain system.

The Bayelsa State Co-ordinator, World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Leonard Ughiegele said Measles is one of the five childhood killer diseases.

As a result, he said the WHO is in collaboration with the state government to ensure that no child is lost to the infection, and encouraged everyone to take the campaign seriously.

The Director, Immunization and Disease Control, Bayelsa State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Neni Awhorabi-Oki, while speaking, said there have been several outbreaks of Measles in the state this year.

She said the state has received over 376,000 doses of the vaccine which is proportional to the number of children who need them, and the campaign will run till Thursday December 2, 2021.

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