As part of activities marking the commencement of the 2015 National Programme on Immunization Days (NPIDs) in Anambra State, the state governor Chief Willie Obiano, alongside his wife, Chief (Mrs.) Ebelechukwu Obiano has called on Anambra women to immunize their children against all deadly but preventable diseases including Tuberculosis (TB), Measles, Pertussis, Tetanus, Poliomyelitis and Hepatitis B.
Flagging off the programme at Nibo Health Centre, Awka South local government area, Governor Obiano equally commissioned the Quarters built for the staff of the Primary Health Centre.
The governor said the commissioning was in fulfillment of his pledge at a similar programme last year, to build a staff quarters. He called on parents, care givers and community leaders to ensure that all eligible children are taken to immunization points in the state, stressing that prevention is better than cure.
The wife of the governor who arrived earlier before her husband to share great moments with the women and their children, expressed immense joy with the flag-off of the initiative which according to her is at the root of the health policy of the present administration in Anambra state.
Mrs. Obiano said the National Programme on Immunization Days (NPIDs) for 2015 which runs from March-April this year is a very important exercise, noting personally that, “anything that touches on the welfare of the mother and child is very important because prenatal care is the backbone for building and maintaining a healthy citizenry.”
She expressed happiness that the newly introduced pneumococcal conjugate vaccine otherwise known as PVC 10 unveiled in the state in February 2015 is to be formally in use during this round of immunization, pointing out that the drug protects children who are less than five years old against pneumonia and improve child survival in children in the State.
The governor’s wife said that injectable polio vaccine will be introduced later in the year as part of thepolio eradication end game strategy. She also noted the assurance by health experts that the vaccines are safe and free and will protect children against all vaccine preventable diseases like TB, measles, pertussis, tetanus, poliomyelitis, hepatitis B etc. As they say, “prevention is better than treatment.”
The 2015 First Round is targeting Children aged 0 to 59 months for oral polio vaccine, while other antigens like measles, yellow fever, pentavalent vaccine, BCG, etc. will be given to children less than one year of age.
The wife of the governor observed that “healthcare is one of the thirteen Enablers which are key to the actualization of the Four Pillars of Economic Development of the Chief Obiano administration namely Agriculture, Trade and Commerce, Industrialization and Oil & Gas.
She said Mrs. Obiano, “I am aware that the strategic objective for the health sector is to ensure good physical and mental state for Ndi Anambra so that they will be productive. In this regard, government is giving priority to primary healthcare with emphasis on infant and maternal healthcare. Preventive healthcare services are promoted through periodic screening and awareness creation.”
The governor’s wife also noted that the State offers free healthcare policy for underprivileged pregnant women which ensure that no woman pays any money for child delivery in Anambra state hospitals.
As part of the NPIDs campaign, she stated that pregnant mothers and women of child bearing age will get Tetanus toxoid vaccinations and Health workers will move from house to house, visit churches, mosques, markets, schools, streets, etc. and administer 2 doses of oral polio vaccine into the mouth of children, while stressing that designated facilities and points are also in use.
Mrs. Obiano explained that one of the ways that she supports the administration her husband Chief Willie Obiano is through the programmes of her pet project, the Caring Family Enhancement Initiative (CAFÉ), a non-governmental, nonpartisan organization with a vision to be the beacon of sustainable empowerment for women, widows and the less privileged.
She highlighted some of the activities of CAFÉ in the health sector including: Programs to improve the availability of and access to quality, preventive and primary health care for all children and reproductive health care for all women. We support the NPIDs, and training of community health workers. Sponsorship of free Cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for children born with congenital abnormality; as well as the provision of motorized bikes with baby cot to assist the local midwives trained in handle pregnant mothers in remote villages during emergencies.