Anambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, sounded a note of warning to health workers against collecting tips from residents in the ongoing routine immunization campaigns.
The warning was sounded by Gov. Obiano during the one-day Sensitization/Engagement Meeting for Measles Second Dose (MSD) Vaccination held on Monday, November 11, in Awka, Anambra State.
Immunization and Disease Control, Anambra State Primary Health Development Agency (ASPHCDA), Head of Department, Dr. Nnamdi Uliagbafusi made the position of the governor known to participants at the gathering.
Dr. Nnamdi said that the rumor going on has it that some immunization health workers asked residents for tips though there has not been any apprehension of offender.
“Immunization is to be administered free to target groups both national and state, and anybody caught extorting will be duly dealt with” he said.
ASPHCDA, Executive Secretary, Dr. Chioma Ezeanyimulu said that Anambra recorded the first position at the last immunization campaign and would always work hard to maintain the lead.
Dr. Chioma said that the second dosage for measles which would be the first of such campaign will be launched November 14, at Primary Health Centre, Isuaniocha, Awka North Local Government Area of Anambra.
“Routinely, the measles vaccine is given at ninth month, but we want to introduce a second dose to be given before the second year of life that is at 15th month and the exercise would last between November 15 and November 17 across the state and Nigeria after the launch ” she said.
Chioma shared a clue on the agency organizing other campaigns for yellow fever and meningitis between December 7 and December 17 respectively.
She explained that the learning process is to adequately build the capacity of the stakeholders to ensure successful operations and the exercise is mutually organized by UNICEF and ASPHCDA.
UNICEF, Communication for Development Consultant, Mr. Felix Okocha, spoke on the reasons and objectives regarding the second dosage of measles, saying that it was to ensure total eradication of measles in the country.
Mr Felix noted that measles claimed the lives of children after the first round of immunization which only recorded 85% success which gave rise to the introduction of the second round which is aimed at the total eradication of the disease.
During the meeting, goodwill messages were delivered by representatives of the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centre for Disease Control.
The meeting was graced by social mobilization officers from the 21 Local Government Areas of Anambra, representatives of Rotary, religious leaders, and the media.