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FG expresses commitment to measles eradication

20/11/2015 18:45

The Federal Government on Friday said it was committed toward the eradication of measles in the country.


The Minister of Health, Dr Isaac Adewole, gave the assurance at the launch of the 2015 national measles vaccination campaign organised by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) in collaboration with FCT Healthcare Agency in Abuja.


The minister, who noted that the event was to improve the coverage of measles immunisation in the country, expressed concern at the estimated figure of 523,000 deaths in 2000 in Nigeria due to measles.


He said, “Measles has inflicted untold injury on our children and killing many of them, in 2000, estimate indicated that about 523,000 of our children die of measles; it is unacceptable by any serious government or administration.


“We join the World Health Organisation (WHO) to contribute to the elimination of measles by 2020 and we are signatory to this initiative, we have no order role to play than to be actively involved.


“Since we started the follow up campaign in 2005/2006, we have conducted similar exercises in 2008, 2011, 2013 and this is the fifth national follow up campaign.’’


Adewole, who explained that the national measles vaccination, billed for five days, would kick start in the Northern part of the country on Nov. 21, while that of the Southern part would commence in January.


According to him, the immunisation, which is targeted at 39 million Nigerian children on completion, will avail the country to attain the goal of measles elimination by 2020.


The minister said that the Federal Government was committed to raising the bar of coverage beyond 80 per cent and efforts at ensuring universal health coverage for every Nigerians both young and old.


He further assured of reaching every Nigerian with available means of healthcare delivery particularly on preventive measures that guaranteed general wellbeing.


He added that: “We do not see health as just health but a vital instrument for promoting economic dividend and development of our country.


“It will remain a pivotal programme of this administration and I want to assure you of the deep commitment of the President to this programme.


“It has to be leadership by example; we must be the leaders of the foot soldiers that are doing the job and whatever assistance needed for the success of the programme will be granted.


“We promise to be accountable, resourceful and accessible by all.’’

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