Yellow fever: Rivers Govt to embark on massive vaccination of residents

From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt

The Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board, RSPHCMB, has concluded every arrangements to kick start a massive vaccination of residents in the state against possibility of yellow fever.

Yellow fever is a disease caused by a virus that is spread to humans through bites of an infected mosquito. The species of mosquito that is responsible for spreading yellow fever according to research, is called Aedes aegypti and it is a different species from the anopheles mosquito that transmits malaria.

However, Dr Harry Agriye, Permanent Secretary of RSPHCMB, who spoke at a one day orientation meeting with state social mobilisation officers and Media personnel held in Port Harcourt, disclosed that the vaccination exercise will hold in two batches with aim to achieve targeted persons across the state.

Dr Agriye also disclosed that beneficiaries of the free vaccination will be between nine months to 44years old of age across the 23 local government areas of the state. He further disclosed that the cost of the exercise have been taken care by the state government and World Health Organization.

He assured that arrangements have been made to ensure that no part of the state was left out, irrespective of how difficult the terrain might be. He appealed for the cooperation of all residents, assuring that the injection is very safe, effective and potent and totally free of charge for all.

“Yellow fever vaccine as I know and as it has always been, is a one off vaccination, for the purposes of cost, manpower among others, we are doing it for people between 9month of age and 44 year old for now.

“We are going to break the exercises into two trenches here in this state, but the both trenches will end in March 6, 2020. Yellow fever vaccine is not life threatening but very effective and potent, once anyone takes the injection, he/she does not need to bother about yellow fever for the rest of her life.

“The whole cost of the exercise has been paid for by the government and the World Health Organisation (WHO), who are partners in this campaign, so it is free-of-charge. ” The Perm Sec. emphasized

Earlier, in his remarks, Director, Community Health Services of the Board, Dr Isaac Opurum, stated that “the 1st batch of the vaccination will start from February 14 – 23, while 2nd batch will commence from February 26 – March 6, this year”.

Dr Opurum who further disclosed that the exercise will engage the service of about 3000 personnel who will be splitted in teams, stressed that “there is going to be massive yellow fever campaign in Rivers state. The vaccination will be for people between the ages of 9months to 44years”.

Also, a member of World Health Organization, Ugheighele Leonard who participated at the programme, noted that in the recent time Nigeria has been able to deal with yellow fever disease, adding that surveillance is very high for the disease.

He noted that yellow fever immunization is being conducted across the country but at a different period depending on the state schedule.

On his part, State Immunization Officer, Dr. Inwon Joseph Urang said Yellow fever virus is transmitted to human is highly communicable and also very swift in killing it’s victim if help did not come quickly enough.

Urang disclosed that the virus presents symptoms similar to that of malaria but has to be diagnosed for proper confirmation before treatment can be administered.

He noted that some of the symptoms of the virus includes, jundice, yellowness of the eyes, palms, the body, strong headache and fever, lost of appetite, stopping/vomiting among others.

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