Parents, caregivers and teachers have been advised not to deny any child access to immunization.
Ahiazu Mbaise LGA Head of Department (HOD) Health, Mrs. Callista Chimezie gave the advice while monitoring the 2018 Measles Vaccination Campaign (MVC) in the area.
She described immunization as a process of exposing an individual to a material that is designed to prepare ones immune system against that material.
The HOD explained that this material or substance also known as vaccine/antigen induces an immune response, usually foreign and is given to stimulate the body’s production of antibodies and provide immunity against a disease, prepared from the agent that causes the disease, or a synthetic substitute.
Mrs. Chimezie outlined that people are inoculated just as new born babies are vaccinated to be protected against a particular disease, strain of disease or influenza.
She said the Measles Vaccine campaign is for children 9 -59 months and emphasized essence to ensure that no child within the targeted age is left out.
She said measle is an acute highly contagious viral disease caused by measles virus, often of childhood, marked by spreading red blotchy skin rash, fever, sore throat, runny nose, cough and inflamed red eyes (conjunctivitis).
Speaking, the Local Immunization Officer, Sanitarian Donatus Ohaka reiterated that measles is a deadly child killer rash/fever illness and posited that vaccination is the best prevention strategy.
He pointed out that the measles virus replicates in the nose and throat of an infected child or adult and when he/she coughs, sneezes or talks, infected droplets spray into the air where other people can inhale them or it could land on a surface where they remain active and
contagious for several hours and one can easily contact it by putting ones finger in the nose or mouth or rubbing the eyes after touching the surface.
Sanitarian Ohaka enlisted eyes and ear infection, inflammation of the bronchial tube (bronchitis) pneumonia, decrease in low blood cells, pregnancy loss or low birth weight, inflammation of the brain which may cause vomiting, convulsions, and oftentimes coma or even death as complications of measles.
In her remarks, the Imo State Programme Health Facilitator to the area, Mrs. Pauline Okoroji reassured that the vaccine is free, safe and effective and applauded the World Health Organization (WHO) United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) National Primary Health Care Development Agency and other donors for their unrelenting support to immunization of children.
The LGA Health Educator and Social Mobilization Officer, Mrs. Rose Anyanwu commended the town annoncers and community leaders for effective mobilization and sensitization of parents and caregivers for the exercise and urged them not to relent.
She affirmed that the deadly measles was once quite common but now preventable with vaccine and warned that where the people have not been exposed, the result can be very devastating.
Mrs. Anyanwu said the exercise is facility based and lauded the Social Mobilization Committee (SMC) for the house to house mobilization for 6 days in all the wards and communities while urging parents and caregivers to present children under 5 years with their immunization cards to any health centre or nearest vaccination posts.
Meanwhile, the LGA Chairman SMC Eze Joe Oleka of Oru Ahiara had in a meeting with community leaders and town announcers debunked rumour of force monkey pox vaccination of children by the military in the South-East late last year and charged the town announcers on adequate sensitization and coverage.
He lauded wife of traditional rulers (Ugoezes) and community leaders for mobilizing parents and caregivers for the exercise and urged them to report any resistance for appropriate attention.
The LGA Education Quality Assurance Officer, Mrs. Stella Ndugbu who stood in for the LGA Education Secretary, Mrs. Dominica Uche said teachers has been sensitized for the exercise and challenged the town announcers to work hard and not leave any stone unturned.
She remarked that the good health of a child is the joy of any parent and called for total co-operation to help reduce infant morbidity and mortality.
The LGA Chief Mobilization and Orientation Officer National Orientation Agency (NOA) Lady Fany lbe regretted the rumour of the false immunization by soldiers and prayed parents and wards to put that behind for quality health of the children.
She said the vaccine is potent and has no side effect and highlighted numerous benefits derivable.