A five-day immunization exercise of Akwa Ibom children from nine months to five years against measles will commence from January 28 to Febuary 1, this year.
Already, 1,640 vaccination posts have been created in the 328 electoral wards of the 31 local government areas across the state.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Dominic Ukpong, who stated this last Friday during a media parley in uyo, said the best way to prevent measles is to prepare the children for an apprioprate dose of measles vaccine.
Dr. Dominic Ukpong, who was represented by the state Director of Public Health in the ministry, Dr. Godwin Ebuk said different control measures have been deployed by the ministry to reduce the spread of the virus as well as the number of young lives lost to measles, and other childhood killer disease. which include measles immunization, campaign, survelliance and clinical management.
He thanked the state government, United Nations Emergency Funds (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) for their support over the years, and called on parents, guardians and care givers to take their children for the periodic measles immunization exercise.
Dr. Ukpong thanked the State Government, UNICEF and WHO for their support over the years, appealing to parents to ensure that their children complete routine immunization exercises before age one.
The Social Mobilization Officer in the ministry, Mrs. Evelyn Eyo gave an overview of the measles situation in Nigeria and in the Diaspora as well as advised parents and care givers to present their children for the vaccination.
Mrs. Eyo explained that the vaccination is free, aimed at eradicting the outbreak of measles among children and helps those who were born after the last measles campaign in 2013 benefit from the immunization exercise.
She advocated such personal hygiene exercises as hand washing, proper feeding and good accommodation for children as well as warned against mal- nutrition and poor ventilation to help reduce immunity in children who are them susceptble to the disease.
Mrs. Eyo enumerated the symptoms of measles to include high fever, cough, running nose, sneezing, lost of appetite, red eyes and rashes on the face and body, noting that if measles is not properly managed it could lead to such complications as diarrhoea, ear infection, brain infection, pneumonia, blindness and death.
Also speaking, the World Health Organisation Consultant, Mrs Gift Ntuk, said the media houses are expected to give 100 percent coverage of the exercise, saying that logistics have been put in place to make canpaign possible in the state.
Mrs. Ntuk, described measles as a childhood killer disease that can lead to blindness, deafness, diarrheah and even death, and appealed to schools, churches, traders, among otehrs to support the exercise by allowing their children from nine months to five years old to get the vaccine.
The Senior Special Assistant to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Health, Dr. Charles Ubong said the State Government places premium on the health sector and was happy with the level of rapport between the Ministry and the Press, calling on the media to assist the government in disseminating the message to the grassroots.