Benue records 2,248 new measles cases, new variant of polio - NEWS FRONTIER DAILY


Friday, October 7, 2022

Benue records 2,248 new measles cases, new variant of polio

Benue state has recorded over 2,248 new cases of measles in the last seven months, just as a new variant of polio has also been discovered in the state. 

The State's Health Educator, at the Primary Health Care Board, PHCB, Mr. Emmanuel Beeka who made this known in Makurdi explained that the new measles cases were recorded in the state between January and August 2022. 

Mr. Beeka said to tackle the challenge, the state had already keyed into the national vaccination intervention slated to kick off "on Friday October 8, 2022 for Polio which would be rounded off next Tuesday while the  flag-off for Measles vaccination would be done on the October 19, 2022 with full implementation commencing from 20th and would run till 28th." 

The Health Educator stated that the scope of the exercise had been expanded stressing that children of nine months to 59 months would be vaccinated for measles while for Oral Polio, those from zero to 49 months would get vaccinated. 

While appealing to members of the public to take advantage of the vaccination days to get their children vaccinated, Mr. Beeka disclosed that, "in the last two to three months there was an outbreak of measles in  about 18 Local Government Areas, LGAs, of the state where measles was identified and it is for that reason that there is every need to massively vaccinate the targeted age groups to check the spread." 

According to him, "apart from measles and Polio, COVID-19 vaccine will also be given to the people who are within the age group so that they will be adequately vaccinated against COVID-19. This is just as birth registration too will be carried out simultaneously during the mass vaccination campaign at vaccination points so that all children who have not been registered can do so to enable them have their birth certificates." 

He noted that Polio had earlier been eliminated but a new variant was identified in some LGAs "and incidentally, we are also carrying out an outbreak response for Polio. That is the Polio variant. It should not surprised you because we had said we had eliminated Polio; but another variant is discovered. 

"It is similarly very dangerous and in other to try as much as possible to totally eradicate it, the vaccination activities are going on because the variant has been identified in some LGAs and to avoid some elements of doubt, total vaccination activities are going to the targeted at children of 0-5 years and 9-59 months. 

"So, the outbreak response is to try as much as possible to do away with that variant that has been discovered. In addition to that, the measles mass vaccination activities which we intend to carry out as well is for the same purpose."

Source: Vanguard

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