Delta Government has been conferred with the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (USCDC) Award for exemplary leadership in healthcare financing.
The award – Partnership for Sustainability Healthcare Financing (Budgeting, Release and Expenditure) was announced at the USCDC Biannual Program Performance Review Meeting/2022 End of Project Cycle Symposium held in Abuja.
Receiving the award at the Flag-off of 2022 State Integrated Measles Vaccine Campaign in Asaba on Wednesday, the State Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, commended World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Education Fund (UNICEF), National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and other partners for collaborating with the state government to safeguard the health of children.
He said that the flag-off was a component strategy at sensitizing mothers and caregivers on the need to vaccinate their children and wards aged between nine months and 59 months with the measles vaccine, thus conferring immunity against the disease on the recipients.
Okowa said that Measles outbreak occurred when the child population immunity waned and a high proportion of the children in the communities were zero-dose for routine immunization.
“The objective is to increase population immunity, thereby reducing the risk of measles virus transmission and outbreak in our communities.
“This, in addition to poor community and environmental hygiene practices, are risk factors for the disease.
“It is one of the diseases of great public health importance, thus requiring enormous collective efforts of individuals, households, health workers and various community-based organizations to ensure its prevention, control and surveillance,” he said.
He restated that the State Government, through her policy of a clean environment and tackling floods, was constructing drainages across the landscape of the State.
“I call on Deltans to properly dispose of their refuse and not dump them in the drainages as this has serious health consequences for the communities, which apart from worsening the flood situation in those areas, nurture more breeding sites for disease vectors and vermin.
“I hereby admonish all of us to take responsibility for our personal and communal health while supporting government health initiatives, interventions and programmes to achieve optimal health in line with this administration’s determination to achieve Universal Health Coverage through the Stronger Delta Agenda,” he stated.
Okowa who is Vice-Presidential Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), urged mothers to come out massively with their children aged nine to 59 months and get them vaccinated against the deadly measles disease irrespective of previous vaccination status at the various health facilities across the State.
Welcoming guests earlier, Commissioner for Health in the state, Dr Mordi Ononye, said Measles was one of the vaccine- preventable diseases of childhood and accounts for a large proportion of child deafness, blindness and death among under-five children in Nigeria.
He said the vaccination would be implemented in two phases for effective supervisory support to skilled health workers participating in the exercise.