WHO pledges 20m doses of vaccines to eradicate yellow fever

Dr. Fiona Braka


•FG begins vaccination in Kogi, Kwara, Zamfara
 •Anambra allays fear over Lassa fever spread

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has pledged a yearly donation of 20 million doses of vaccines to eradicate yellow fever in Nigeria.The WHO Representative, Dr. Fiona Braka, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja.She said the global body would assist the country in achieving the total vaccination of the populace, in line with the global Elimination of Yellow Epidemics (EYE) by 2026. 

“The global community is committed to this course and would meet the target despite the global vaccine shortfall,” she said. “As part of the strategy, we must protect the hard-to-reach population and curtail the outbreak rapidly to protect against international spread. 
 
Meanwhile, the Federal Government would today begin the phase two of vaccination against the disease in four states.The states are Kogi, Kwara, Zamfara and Borno, where the country had recorded outbreaks of the disease.

The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja. According to him, this is part of the 2026 programme to vaccinate the entire populace whose age falls within nine months to 45 years. About 10.4 million people were vaccinated in the phase one of the exercise, which covered 20 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2014.

He stressed that all the states would be vaccinated in phases, adding that the development partners have approved a tentative plan.He further disclosed that about one million doses would be utilised in accessable IDP camps in Borno during each preventive camping, which would run from February 5-14 2018.
 
Braka added that other states would be selected based on evolving epidemiology, while the next preventive campaign would likely be in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In a related development, the Anambra State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Joe Akabuike, has allayed fear over Lassa fever spread.He gave the pledge in Awka, the state capital, in reaction to the outbreak of the disease in some states.

The commissioner warned the residents against purchasing food items, particularly garri that is widely produced and exposed to all forms of contaminations.He explained that the ministry was battle ready to ensure that the epidemic does not penetrate the state.
 
Akabuike urged the residents to avoid living in dirty environment and take their hygiene very seriously.He stressed the state government’s commitment to the creation of primary health care agency; the health insurance scheme and the revitalisation of secondary care institutions.

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Fiona BrakaWHO
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