By Adedapo Adesanya
The Plateau State Government has launched immunisation of infants with the new Inactivated Polio Vaccine second dose (IPV2) against poliomyelitis and infant mortality.
The event, which kicked off on Wednesday, was unveiled by Dr Gabriel Adah, a Director from the Federal Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) and Dr Livinus Miapkwap, Executive Director, Plateau Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) at Epid Unit by former UTC.
Dr Adah described the commencement of the IPV2 immunisation programme as unique and timely, toward warding off any negative impact on the health of infants and the Nigerian society as a whole.
“The Nigerian government is introducing this IPV2 into the nation’s routine immunisation schedule programme to ensure that our children are all well-protected against polio disease.
“Although Nigeria has been certified Polio free since August 2020, we don’t want a resurgence of the disease, hence the introduction of the second dose (IPV2.)
“I can say it is part of what the World Health Organisation (WHO) called ‘Polio End Game Strategy’, toward ensuring that Nigeria maintains her level of certification,” he explained.
According to him, “we are targeting children from age 0 – 23 months and expecting that all parents and guardians cooperate with the Government to ensure that our children, who are eligible are vaccinated appropriately.”
He disclosed that one of the major causes of infants’ mortality, besides malaria and diarrhoea, was polio disease, which he said, was why the government put up a renewed strategy to immunise the children with the vaccine at each stage.
Also speaking, Dr Miapkwap said Plateau State took the lead on kick-starting the introduction and application of the IPV2 immunisation vaccine on infants in the country, to save them from the sting of poliomyelitis.
Represented by Mr Izang Yakubu-Dauda, PHCB Director of disease Control and Immunisation, the Executive Director, said, “it is not out of place that we key into the programme as it is being said that prevention is better than cure.”
He called on parents and guardians in the state to sensitise one another on the need for them to bring their children forward for the IPV2 vaccine.
“We want a society that is free of poliomyelitis disease which can lead to paralysis and inactive limbs.
“As a government, we don’t want to see our children or citizens grow up with defects on their bodies,“ Dr Miapkwap said.
He thanked the federal government and donor agencies such as the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for ensuring that the citizens of Plateau enjoyed healthy living.
BOC Gases Changes Name, Logo After Acquisition by TY Danjuma
By Dipo Olowookere
One of the players in the medical industry, BOC Gases Nigeria Plc, has changed its name to Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc.
This development followed the acquisition of the company by a businessman, Mr Theophilus Yakubu Danjuma, through one of his firms, TY Holdings Limited.
Recently, the former Minister of Defence in Nigeria acquired a 60 per cent stake in BOC Gases, taking his total shareholding to 72 per cent, making him the largest shareholder in the organisation.
This made the representatives of the former owners on the board, Hendrik Mentz de Waal and Joseph Ramashala, both non-executive directors, to exist BOC Gases, while efforts were made to change the corporate name and logo.
In a statement issued on Thursday and filed to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited, BOC Gases said it “has obtained a new certificate of incorporation from the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC)” showing the new name, Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria Plc.
It would be recalled that 14 years ago, the company adopted the now-rested BOC Gases Nigeria Plc.
Industrial and Medical Gases Nigeria is into industrial and medical gas production, sale of medical equipment and special gases.
FG to Support Cholera-riddled Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi
By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has said that it is currently stepping up the technical support and guidance it is giving the states of the federation worst hit by cholera.
This was disclosed by the Director of Family Health department at the Federal Ministry of Health, Dr Salma Anas Kolo.
She disclosed that Kano, Jigawa and Bauchi are the states worst hit by cholera in the country, noting that more than 48 per cent of the cases reported in the country are from the three sub-nationals.
“Efforts are ongoing by the health ministry in collaboration with Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to continue to provide support to the states through the national response in a well-coordinated manner.
“We continue step up in providing technical support and guidance to the states that are worst affected by cholera. “At the moment we have recorded some slow progress and success in the worst affected states.
“We have conducted some trainings for health workers for early detection and prompt treatment of victims of cholera outbreak.
“Unfortunately, the outbreak is among children between the age of 5-14 years. This is closely link to lack of access to portable clean water and also poor defecation practices and poor hygiene,” she said.
Dr Anas Kolo, however, said that the ministry was intensifying its collaboration with partners on the need to re-invigorate the Water Sanitation and Health (WASH) programme in the relevant sectors of the economy considering it requires multi-sectoral approach.
“It has to do with sanitation, toileting facilities available and personal hygiene. We are working closely with the ministries of water resources, information and culture and the ministry of environment who are very critical partners in this.
“We have developed a framework at the national level that require to be operationalized at the state level to adopt similar approach so that the populace, especially, in the worst affected areas can have access to clean water,” she said.
The Director further explained that: “Part of the response we have undertaken is the distribution of essential response commodities at the point of need including hygiene kits for affected states, using traditional medium of information transmission in most of the worst affected states.
“Hand washing is very important in the prevention of the cholera. At any time, you are handling food, hand washing is very key with running water and soap. Where soap is not available, we encourage the use of ashes and table salt.”
She further advised pregnant women in the country to attend ante natal care at the health centres nearest to them in order to access services including test HIV and Syphilis.
This, according to her, is to prevent Mother-To-Child transmission of HIV.
“This is an opportunity for us to call on all Nigerian pregnant women to attend antenatal clinic at any nearest health facility to them and get themselves tested for HIV and Syphilis.
“By doing that we can prevent the transmission of HIV from the infected mother to the unborn baby and avert the transmission of Syphilis which is also very dangerous to the unborn baby.
“It causes still-birth, miscarriages and death and brain damage leading to malformation to the unborn baby. It also affects the heart. So implications are so numerous.
“So it is cheaper and more cost effective to prevent the transmission of Syphilis from an infected mother to the child. The good news is that both are almost 100 preventable. But only if women that are pregnant avail themselves to be tested of syphilis,” the health expert stated.
COVID-19: Nigeria to Start Vaccination of Children
By Ashemiriogwa Emmanuel
In a few months’ time, Nigeria will commence administering vaccines to children under 12 years to protect them against the coronavirus (COVID-19).
This vaccination of children against the virus would be done in partnership with the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The UNICEF Health Specialist and Officer in charge of Enugu Field Office, Mr Olusoji Akinleye, said during a recent media executive meeting in the state that it had taken so long for this to be implemented because of the cluttered processes involved before any drug would be administered to children.
Speaking at the event, which was in collaboration with Broadcasting Corporation of Abia State (BCA), Umuahia, on Child Rights-influenced Reporting on COVID-19, the specialist said that a lot of children had died due to the COVID-19, adding that, “In the next few months, Nigeria will start administering the vaccine on children under 12 years of age.”
He said, “We recognize the partnership in promoting and highlighting the right of every child to life. The very first right that every human being is supposed to have is the right to life; we recognise that the media have always supported the effort of government and partners, including UNICEF, in promoting the right to health.”
Noting the challenges faced by the health sector regarding public hesitancy, unwillingness, and misconceptions against the COVID-19 vaccines, Mr Akinleye encouraged parents to ensure that their children were protected by obeying the safety protocols that have been put in place.
In addition to this, he said, “UNICEF looks forward to more robust collaboration with the media and an expected upward trend in the promotion of health and hygiene practices by the media in Nigeria by daily communication to the public of protocols enforced by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
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