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Edo vaccinated 1,745,241 persons against yellow fever in 2018

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Edo vaccinated 1,745,241 persons against yellow fever in 2018

The state immunisation officer, Charity Usifo, made this known in Benin City during the State Task Force Committee meeting with the deputy governor, Philip Shaibu.
Usifo said 2,256,370 doses of yellow fever vaccine were supplied to the state and 1,903,170 of the vaccine distributed within the period under review.
She said 687 vaccination teams were deployed for the exercise across 13 local government areas, with persons from nine to 44 years of age as target.
She said the mass immunisation, usually termed Reactive Mass Vaccination (RMV) campaign, was considered the most important and effective measure of ending yellow fever.
Shaibu appreciated all the health agencies for their support in making things work in ensuring that all kinds of diseases were eliminated.
He also lauded the team of health experts for being proactive in delivering their jobs.
Also, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says the organisation’s engagement of community informants for surveillance of suspected cases of polio in hard-to-reach and crisis-ridden parts of Borno is yielding positive impact in the state.
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday that many local government areas in the state had become access-compromised following nearly a decade of insurgency.
Moeti said this had made it difficult for the local population to access basic and quality health services, adding that infants had been one of the main victims to this development.
According to Moeti, health workers in some areas have been unable to distribute vaccines or provide needed routine immunisation services and children are particularly at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio.
Moeti said as surveillance officers cannot access certain areas, local residents had been engaged and trained to help support strengthening of disease surveillance in hard-to-reach areas.
“Following nearly a decade of insurgency, many local government areas in Borno State have become access-compromised, making it difficult for the local population to access basic health services and quality healthcare.
“Infants have been one of the main victims of this situation as health workers in some areas have been unable to distribute vaccines or provide much needed routine immunisation services.
“In this context, children are particularly at risk of vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio.
This development has made it challenging to carry out effective identification of all Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) cases and thereby fully verify the absence of poliovirus in the area.
“As surveillance officers cannot access certain areas, local residents are engaged and trained to help support strengthening of disease surveillance in hard-to-reach areas.
“Engagement of community informants for AFP surveillance has yielded positive impact in Borno State.
“From January 31 to December 31, 2018, the community informant initiative has helped to significantly strengthen the disease surveillance capacity in key areas, including hard-to-reach areas.
“Key to rapidly detecting any poliovirus that might be circulating, and thereby enabling a rapid outbreak response is the timely detection and investigation of all cases of AFP, in other words any child who develops sudden weakness of the limbs,” she said.
She said current insecurity in the region had also made it difficult to effectively identify all AFP cases in order to verify the absence of poliovirus in the area.
She said building on the success of engaging community informants, the organisation and its partners would continue to support Nigeria in sustaining this work and ensure that all AFP cases were detected.
Clement Peter, officer in charge (OiC), WHO Nigeria, said as a key partner of Nigeria in the effort against polio, WHO was committed to sustaining and expanding the hard-gained progress achieved in surveillance in hard-to-reach areas.
Peter said the engaged local informants have also been very helpful in monitoring other IDSR diseases such as measles, whooping cough, Tuberculosis (TB) and meningitis.
He said that the community informant initiative was made possible with the active support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF).
The OiC said in addition to its support to the community informant initiative, WHO would expand AFP surveillance network in the region through the sustained integration of Mobile Hard-to-Reach teams into surveillance activities.
Sule Mele, executive director, State Primary Health Care Agency, Borno, said this year, 17 AFP cases had already been reported from hard-to-reach settlements while one out of the 17 AFP cases is from a hard-to-reach settlement in the Lake Chad Islands.
Mele said it was therefore imperative to continue to sustain the progress achieved in AFP surveillance in insecure areas through the use of community informants.
He said this was because the strategy had also enabled the agency to provide additional basic maternal and child health interventions to the underserved and vulnerable population.

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