The Bayelsa State Government, concerned over the possible outbreak of measles, has ordered a compulsory 13-days aggressive measles immunisation for children between the ages of 9 months and five years.
According to investigations, to ensure efficiency of the compulsory vaccination scheduled to begin on 1 March 2018, the state government has threatened to sanction any school that prevents children from being immunized.
The State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu, who disclosed the vaccination campaign in a press conference in Yenagoa, said the measure is part of efforts to prevent children from untimely death and other serious lifelong complications associated with the viral disease.
He explained that the measles immunization would be carried out at every hospital, schools, market places, churches, mosques and motor parks across the state, stressing that measles has no bearing with monkey Pox and called on caregivers and mothers to ensure that every child is presented for the vaccine regardless of their previous vaccination status.
Also speaking, the Commissioner for Education, Jonathan Obuebite, announced government’s decision to lift the ban placed on medical outreach to school during the October 2017 Monkey Pox vaccination episode in which unfounded stories of soldiers going round schools vaccinating children with monkey pox virus caused pandemonium in the South East and South South.
He said the lift of the ban became necessary in order to allow the Bayelsa Child have access to the lifesaving immunization.
Obuebite who said it is an offence for any teacher to prevent health workers from this humanitarian service is schools, explained that government’s huge investment in health can only be meaningful when children are healthy enough to attend school and learn.