The Enugu State Governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi has tasked political, religious and community leaders on mobilisation and awareness creation for integrated immunisation programmes aimed at reducing the disease burden within the State.
Governor Ugwuanyi gave the task in Enugu while flagging off Integrated Non-Polio Supplemental Immunisation Activities; Measles, Yellow Fever and COVID-19 Vaccination (Scale 3.0) and Birth Registration Campaigns in Enugu State.
Represented by his Deputy, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, Governor Ugwuanyi said that there was need for collective effort to ensure mass participation in ensuring preventable diseases and massive immunisation on COVID-19 and yellow fever within the state.
He stated that the state government was committed to ensure the health wellbeing and welfare of all, adding that the government would stop at nothing to ensure continuous immunisations for all its citizens both old, young and children. He explained that the measles, yellow fever and COVID-19 Vaccination (Scale 3.0) immunisations are integrated and will go simultaneously to ensure easy accessibility and reach for all.
“We must scale up in our COVID-19 vaccination notwithstanding that the state has been ranked first among states in the country on Primary Health Care (PHC) service delivery, only second to FCT according to ONE Campaign award recently. So, we want all leaders to join in this integrated immunisation campaign and ensure no one is left out.
“For our mothers, they should ensure that no child within their neighbourhood is left out in the measles and other childhood immunisations to keep them all healthy and sound within each locality in the state,” he said.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), Dr George Ugwu said that the state had prepared adequately for the integrated immunisation programme by massive mobilisation of leaders at the grassroots.
Dr Ugwu said that the agency had trained over 7,392 health workers, both at the council and ward levels for the integrated campaign, adding that the agency was not relenting on all its routine immunisations.
He said: “we are also going about in all nooks and cranny of the state with all the relevant routine antigens, given to as many eligible persons we see as possible. We are targeting 1,103,055 persons to be reached with the Yellow Fever vaccine in this campaign and also targeting 607,041 citizens of Enugu State with measles vaccine.
“For COVID-19 (scale up 3.0) vaccination; we are targeting 2,530,026 of our citizens; out of which we have vaccinated 717,596 persons and counting. However, we are leading in COVID-19 vaccination in the entire South-East States. We are also targeting 500,000 birth registrations in this campaign.”
The executive secretary said that the state came second in the entire country with 91 per cent coverage rate in routine immunisation, only behind Ebonyi State in the 2021 Multi-Clustert Indicator Survey (MICS) Released in September 2022.
In his speech, the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, noted that the administration of Gov. Ugwuanyi had upped the steam on the drive and zeal to deliver quality healthcare to all residents of the state.
Obi noted that it was clear that the vision of Ugwuanyi’s administration in delivery quality healthcare would be further improved by the provision of a measles laboratory, which is about being accredited in the state.
“I am assuring the residents that the effective health care team domicile in the state will continue to work to ensure optimal health of the people,” he said.
In a goodwill message, the UNICEF Chief of Field Office, Enugu, Juliet Chiluwe, said that UNICEF was committed to supporting immunisation initiatives and logistics in the state. Chiluwe noted that UNICEF had supported the ENS-PHCDA with 391 solar-dry refrigerators to store vaccines and sensitive antigens in local government areas in the state.
She said: “UNICEF is also championing the birth registration meant to promote efficiency data collection and planning for the state. We also want mothers and parents to ensure full immunisation of their children since it is the most cost-effective way to ensure the health of all and reduce infant and childhood mortality.”