Enugu State Government has started mass vaccination against yellow fever in three council areas where it confirmed an outbreak, targetting at least 922,463 residents.
Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of the Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this at a news conference in Enugu on Thursday.
Ugwu said that the council areas are; Igboeze North (333,551 residents); Nsukka (398,094 residents) and Isi-Uzo (190,818 residents), adding that the numbers represent 85 per cent of the entire population.
He added that the state government had got enough stock of the yellow fever vaccine and fully trained and mobilised vaccinators to fixed Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs), special outreach centres and house-to-house.
He noted that the massive vaccination was meant for people between the ages of nine months and 44 years.
The executive secretary urged residents within the age range to make themselves available for the vaccination, saying “there is no need to panic or send the wrong information; government is clinically in control of the yellow fever outbreak in the state and has taken appropriate steps to ensure that our people are protected.
“Already, the primary healthcare development agency has continued to engage in robust community mobilisation, sensitisation, health education and promotion.
“We have adequate supply of yellow fever vaccines and accessories to all health facilities and outreach centres, as well as properly trained, oriented and deployed all cadres of health workers and teams to health centres.
“We are also doing mass reactive vaccination for eligible and most susceptible persons aged nine months and 44 years.
“The state government has fully mobilised and continued with fumigation of Ette community and its environs, as well as other communities directly affected in the outbreak.”
Ugwu thanked Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi “for his personal concern and timely intervention, which led to control and robust capacity to tackle the outbreak.
“We also thank the Deputy Governor, Mrs Cecilia Ezeilo, for support and supervisory guidance to issues that concern the health of the rural people and residents of Enugu State in general.
“The Wife of the Governor, Mr Monica Ugwuanyi, assisted in no small measure through her Ugo Touch of Life Foundation (U-TOLF) in providing medical consumables, drugs, health awareness and education programmes to rural people.
“I also thank the technical and other support of the state’s Ministry of Health; the Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), NCDC, UNICEF and WHO, among others.
The executive secretary called for technical, material and financial assistance from relevant institutions such as national and international agencies and partners, adding that “government cannot do it alone.
“We are also requesting for more funding and support for effective containment of the outbreak and receipt of more yellow fever vaccines for the expanded programme from the NPHCDA.’’