The Chairperson of Obowo local government area of Imo State, Hon. Lady Anne Nwoke has warned parents on the dangers of not getting their children immunized or vaccinated against measles disease.
Nwoke who gave the warning last Thursday at Otoko, the local government headquarters while flagging off the 2018 measles vaccination campaign explained that in situations of ignorance, negligence or carelessness, measles could cause life-long deformities and embarrassing deaths.
She recalled that in the olden days, before the advent of measles vaccination whether in the campaign format or routine immunization, the disease killed most of its victims and left the surviving ones with either partial or total blindness.
Lamenting over the high death toll and regrettable physical deformities occasioned by measles over the years, the Obowo local government chairperson said, “this situation is not and cannot be acceptable for a disease that has vacancy for its prevention. Fellow Oboweans, it will be a disservice to our people if the local government folds her hands and allows this deadly and child-killer disease to over-run our children. This is why government is not resting on her oars in tackling the disease”.
Anne Nwoke disclosed that the local government had instituted routine immunization programme for vaccination of eligible children. According to her, routine immunization is done everywhere in all the health centres in the area, in addition to regular health education on proper nutrition and hygiene practices given to mothers and care givers every Thursday at the various health entres.
She clearly, explained that the immunization exercise was for children aged between 9 months and 5 years; adding that Obowo local government targeted to vaccinate about 29 thousand eligible children against measles in the 2018 campaign.
According to her, this year’s exercise started with household mobilization and registration of eligible children.
Beckoning on parents to make their children available for immunization at designated centres, the chairperson hinted that there would be no house-to-house visitation for the vaccination.
Appealing to well-to-do Oboweans to partner with the local government in ensuring smooth conduct of the campaign, Anne Nwoke disclosed that the exercise was grossly challenged by lack of ‘operational vehicles, cold chain equipment such as refrigerators/freezers and megaphones for the 22 health centres in the area.
The local government chairperson who also functioned as the representative of the wife of Imo State Governor, Ugo Nneoma Nkechi Okorocha at the occasion later administered immunization vaccines on some eligible children to flag off the campaign.
Meanwhile, the Obowo local government Transition Committee chairman, Hon. Prince Chidi Winston Nwoke has directed all village heads, community and town union leaders, public and private schools, local government staff as well as churches in the area to be fully involved in the immunization campaign.
Prince Nwoke pointed out that the Imo State first Lady, Nkechi Okorocha had earlier, in line with the state rescue mission administration’s special interest in the overall health of Imo indigenes, flagged off the 2018 measles vaccination campaign at the state level.
According to Prince Nwoke, health is wealth, and for this reason, the local government in line with Governor Rochas Okorocha’s health-at-the-doorpost policy, would continue to place high premium on the health of its citizenry.
The Otoko venue of the flag off campaign attracted lots of dignitaries that turned out to accord the local government chairperson full support.
Present at the occasion were the vice chairman of Obowo local government, Hon. Lolo Jovita Eche, traditional rulers, school heads, the clergy, heads of security outfits, wife of the house of reps member for Okigwe South federal constituency, Mrs. Akudo Chike Okafor; Mrs, Uche Kennedy Ibe, wife of Hon. Kennedy Ibe of Imo State House of Assembly, among many others.