The Governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki, on Wednesday, flagged off the 2017 routine immunisation intensification project in Egor Local Government Area of the state.
As an expression of his administration’s high premium on the immunisation project, Obaseki rewarded three local government areas with N10million, for their extensive coverage of people during the immunisation programme from January to September this year.
He declared that the cash award would be given yearly to encourage local government councils to take the immunisation programme to every doorstep in all the local governments of the state, and assured that more vehicles would be provided to improve surveillance of immunisation activities.
“This is the third immunisation programme that I am flagging off as the governor of Edo State and we want all children under ages 0-5 years in the state to be immunised against deadly diseases such as Polio. We want health workers to go out and immunise children across the various local government councils in the state. The need for mothers to immunise their children should always top the agenda during social gatherings,” Obaseki said.
Akoko Edo Local Government Area was given N5 million for clinching the first position with 85.5 percent immunisation coverage. Estako Central LGA was adjudged the second-best council and got N3 million while Esan Central was given N2 million for taking the third position.
In her remarks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) Coordinator, Edo State, Mrs Faith Ireye, commended the governor for initiating the yearly cash award to the best performing LGAs in routine immunisation and said that it would spur every local council and health workers to put in their best during immunisation programme.
Ireye said that Edo State routine immunisation coverage has been adjudged best in the country, with no variation between its administrative data and the outcome of the National Converge Survey conducted in 2016.
“There is a huge reduction in vaccine-preventable disease rate in the state: Edo had been able to achieve the measles elimination target of less than one measles case per 1, 000,000 population,” she said.
The WHO coordinator added that the objective of the routine immunisation intensification project was to improve the current immunisation coverage of 72 percent by 20 percent and reduce the number of unimmunised children in the state of about (26, 968) by 30 percent.
The high point of the event was when the Edo governor, his wife, Mrs Betsy Obaseki; the Deputy Governor, Hon. Philip Shaibu; his wife, Mrs Maryam Shiabu; and Secretary to the Edo State Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie, made phone calls urging mothers, who were yet to complete immunisation schedules for their wards, to take advantage of the routine programme to do so.
The governor also made other members of his cabinet including himself to adopt one LGA each to monitor the immunisation coverage.
L-R: Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Philip Shaibu; Coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), Edo State, Mrs Faith Ireye; Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State; Commissioner for Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment, Hon. Emmanuel Usoh; and the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon. Jimoh Ijebai, at the Flag-off of the Routine Immunisation Intensification Programme at Egor LGA, Edo State on Wednesday, September 20, 2017.