COVID-19: “Disregard Rumour of Vaccines, Immunize Your Children, Wards Against Measles” –UNICEF, NOA Urges Mothers

COVID-19: “Disregard Rumour of Vaccines, Immunize Your Children, Wards Against Measles” –UNICEF, NOA Urges Mothers

The United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) and NOA has urged mothers and health care givers in Imo to continue immunising children against measles and other child-killer disesaes amid COVID-19 pandemic.

The agencies gave the advice at a one-day sensitisation programme for journalists tagged “Media Orientation Meeting for Measles Campaign” held in Owerri on Wednesday.

The State Director of NOA, Mr Vitus Ekeocha while addressing the journalists said it had become necessary to re-sensitise members of the public, especially nursing mothers on the need to access primary health care centers to immunise their children.

He said that most mothers and care givers had, in the confusion created by the emmergence of corona virus, forgotten and abandoned the immunisatiuon of their children which he said has grave consequencies.

Ekeocha said the programme was an enlightenment campaign on vaccination against measles and other child-killer diseases and enjoined media houses to help propagate the message.

“COVID-19 is a war which should be fought with all the arsenal the government has. Most mothers at the present stituation may not remember to go and immunise their children.

“There is need to sensitise mothers and care givers that despite the pandemic, they should not forget to immunise their children and wards, while disregarding the rumours associated with the COVID-19 pandemic vaccine.

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“The press through their various medium are enjoined to reach out to the people. Everyone in Imo is expected to know the importance of immunisation,” Ekeocha said.

The Resource Person, Dr Chibuzo Okoroama, an Immunisation Officer (SIO) with Imo State Primary Health Care Developmnt Agency (ISPHCDA) in an “Overview of Measles Campaign” described measles as a

highly infectious viral disease caused by the measles virus that causes death of children globally.

She noted that there is no specific antiviral treatment for measles but that it can be prevented by immunisation with measles vaccine.

Okoroama listed some necessary children vaccines, their mode of adminstration and dosage to include Measles Vaccine for measles, BCG for tuberculosis, OPV/IPV for poliomyelitis, Hepatitis B Vaccine, Yellow Fever and Rotavirus vaccines.

According to her, measles is spread through contact with nose and throat secretions in airborne droplets released when an infected person sneezes or coughs and urged parents to ensure their children are immunised at the right time with correct doses.

Earlier, the UNICEF Programme Officer, NOA Imo, Mr Chigozie Ojiaku noted that vaccination or immunisation is the right of every child which should not be denied them, urging mothers to ensure complete immunisation processes for their children.

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He harped on the need to improve on the health indices of the state through immunisation, hence the need for people of the state to get the right messages on immunisation.

Ojiaku said the media, as news gate keepers, wages a lot of influence on what the people should know and believe and appealed to them to promote news on immunisation.

Mrs Violet Igwe, Social Moblisation and Technical Officer(SOMTEC) and Director ICT in the state Ministry of Information, said information moulds the opinion of people as such its powers cannot be overemphaised.

She called on the media to deseminate the information on measles vaccination, discourage propaganda on immunisation against the measles virus to enable the people immunise their children and wards agaisnt measles infection.


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