Angela Nwaeze Mbaocha
Following the recent yellow fever outbreak in Ebonyi state, the state Ministry of Health has commenced mass vaccination against the deadly disease in three local government areas.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Daniel Umezurike disclosed this to newsmen on Thursday at his office.
He said NTCC approved mass vaccination against yellow fever in three local government areas of Izzi, Ebonyi and Abakaliki.
Umezurike said the vaccination commenced on September 6, and will end on September 16.
Stating they were still pushing further to ensure that the vaccination is carried out in the remaining ten local government areas of the state.
He said the target number of persons to be vaccinated in the three local government areas is 1, 121, 021, and 374 teams have been deployed to the local governments to immunize everyone between the ages of 9months and 44years, which represents 85% of the population.
The commissioner noted that the campaign will be carried out in fixed and temporary posts especially, in the PHCs, and targeted churches, schools and any other social gatherings 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 target age group to go to the nearest post to be vaccinated.
Umezurike also 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.
Stating: “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.
“Note also that 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.”
The commissioner urged residents of the state to remain calm and go about their normal businesses while observing all the preventive measures including the vaccination for all eligible persons in the designated local government areas.
He 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.
Adding that the outbreak was reported from border villages lying between Ebonyi, Benue and Cross 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