By Kemi Olatunde
Ondo State Government has flagged off the 2023 World vaccination week with advice to care givers to visit facilities nearest to them to vaccinate their children against all forms of killer diseases.
Commissioner for Health, Dr. Banji Awolowo Ajaka spoke at the flag off ceremony in Akure on Friday.
The Commissioner who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA), Dr Francis Akanbiemu said that this year edition of the programme, tagged “big catch up” is aimed at vaccinating children who missed the exercise.
According to him, children who had missed the vaccines as a result of COViD- 19 or any other reason have the opportunity alongside other eligible children to receive the vaccines.
Dr Ajaka, who commended the state government under the leadership of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for the huge investment in the sector, informed participants at the event that the Governor’s efforts have started yielding results as Ondo State ranked above other states with 76 percent in routine immunization.
The Commissioner said the state had just been adjudged the best and had received award as the best in cold chain management in Nigeria.
He further said that the state government has almost completed the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) clinic at the Agency headquarters describing it as the first of its kind in Nigeria.
Ajaka expressed appreciation to supporting partners including World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF as well as National Primary Health Care Development Agency ( NPHCDA) among others for always partnering with the state especially during immunization and other health programmes.
State Coordinator, WHO, Dr. Dele Davis noted that the availability of potent vaccines has helped in the reduction of child motality globally.
He, therefore, urged mothers and care givers to avail their children and wards the opportunity of the world vaccination week by taking them to health facilities for immunization.
Highlights of the event include vaccination of children and presentation of gifts to their mothers.
World vaccination week is always commemorated between the 24th and 30th of April yearly with emphasis on
sensitization of mothers and care givers on the importance of vaccination.
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