In its determination to exceed the record of previous measles coverage, the Ogun State Government has organised a two-day ‘train the trainers’ workshop in Abeokuta for selected vaccinators for the 2016 follow-up measles campaign.
Speaking in an interview with journalists after the training, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Nafiu Aigoro, said the campaign which is expected to hold between January 28 and February 1 in all fixed and semi-fixed posts across the state was in line with government’s efforts to surpass the 2015 measles coverage record of 121 percent, according to the World Health Organisation’s, WHO, report.
Aigoro noted that the training was to prepare the health workers drawn from 20 local government areas and who cut across various medical cadres like medical officers, nurses, community health extension workers and health educators.
“The training is part of government’s efforts towards preparing the health workers drawn from 20 local governments who cut across various cadres like medical officers, nurses and health educators, particularly the new hands among them for the campaign,” Aigoro said.
The permanent secretary also revealed that the exercise would be thoroughly monitored in order to ensure that the vaccines were used for the targeted children.
The State Co-ordinator, WHO, Dr. Mijebi Philips, explained that the training was to educate the vaccinators on how to use Performance Indicator, PI, to record any ‘Adverse Effect Following Immunisation’, AEFI.
Philips emphasised the need for adequate record of any AEFI case on the immunised children from caregivers or mothers which might result in anxiety or incidental activities.
The WHO coordinator described the relationship with the state government as ‘excellent’, adding that government had provided an enabling environment for the agency to operate.
Meanwhile, the state government has called for media support to sensitise the public, particularly mothers and care-givers on measles follow-up campaign.
Aigoro explained that the event was part of government’s efforts to ensure that the general public, especially mothers and care-givers are appropriately sensitised on the need to bring their children within the range of nine to 59 months for measles vaccination exercise at designated centres.
The permanent secretary noted that Information, Education and Communication, IEC, materials had been distributed to various health facilities across the state towards a successful 2016 measles campaign.
He enjoined mothers and care-givers to always give their children balanced diet so as to boost their immune system against childhood killer diseases like measles among others, adding that measles is more prevalent during the dry season.
WHO Consultant on Measles in the state, Miss Folashade Adepanisi, urged media practitioners to always guard against ambiguous reportage that may mislead the public on any health campaign.
She also maintained that 1,880 teams would be created from 236 wards in the state to ensure that people at the grassroots are appropriately sensitised, particularly those in rural areas.