The Health and Human Services Secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) says it will commence immunization exercise for residents aged between nine months and 44 years on Saturday. The institution’s Secretary, Alhaji Adamu Bappah, said this on Friday at the flag off ceremony for mass vaccination campaign against yellow fever at Damagaza community in Abuja.
The immunization exercise was expected to commence between Saturday and Dec. 7. He said the flag off was expected to increase community awareness, acceptance, uptake and utilisation of good quality as well as safe yellow fever vaccine which would be administered free of charge. “The goal of the preventive mass vaccination campaign is to reduce yellow fever transmission by achieving a minimum of 95 per cent coverage in the implementing states and local government areas in line with the strategy for elimination of the yellow fever epidemics by 2026.
“I believe this is yet another opportunity for the FCT Administration to further strengthen actions that will positively address the health care delivery system in the FCT,” Bappah said. He said effective ways for the prevention of yellow fever disease include vaccination which must be administered routinely to all babies at nine months in line with the National Routine Immunization schedule. Bappah said other preventive measures include avoiding bites from the infested mosquitoes and reducing the population of the transmitting mosquito.
“Once infected, management is symptomatic with no specific measures effective against the virus. “Death occurs in up to half of those who get severe disease. “This year, five cases of yellow fever have been confirmed with three deaths out of 15 reported cases in the FCT,” he said. Bappah said the targeted population to be vaccinated was put at 3,293,438 representing 85 per cent of the total population.
He added that 1,342 teams, including 171 special teams with 3,864,300 doses of the yellow fever vaccines, had been constituted. Bappah said vaccination would take place in all government health facilities and temporary posts in palaces of monarchs and other locations. The Chairman, Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC), Alhaji Abdullahi Candido, who was represented by Assistant Head of Department Health (Disease Control), Dr Orji Ikechukwu, advised residents to ensure they were immunized.
The Sapeyi of Garki, Alhaji Usman Kupi, reiterated that vaccination has no negative effect, urging residents not to be deceived by fake reports. The representative of UNICEF, Mrs Iyabobola Ajibola, advised residents of the community to be hygiene consciousness, saying this was one of the preventive measures.