AS part of activities to wipe out measles out of the country, the International Association of Lions Club in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Lagos State government recently held a five-day campaign to sensitize the public on the harmful effects of the disease and how it can be prevented.
Held at Yaba Local Council Development Area, the group’s intervention was motivated by the realisation that the disease has not only remained endemic, but ranks as one of the leading causes of infant and child mortality in Africa, despite the availability of safe and effective vaccine for over 40 years in the country. Lagos State
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode represented by Commissioner for Health, Dr. Jide Idris, noted that the just concluded “2016 Measles Follow-up Campaign (MFC) was a clarion call for everyone to join and spread the awareness about prevention and cure of measles in our environment and to ensure the survival, protection and healthy growth of our children.
The coordinator, Lions National Measles campaign, Dr. Yinka Griffin noted that the overall campaign is to reduce childhood mortality and morbidity from measles infection among children aged nine months to five years.
Corroborating Griffin, Mrs. Stella Agbogun disclosed that the club takes care of vision, as one of the complications of measles is blindness, which is the reason it collaborated with the Lagos State government to eradicate measles.
She noted that measles reduces the ability of a child’s immune system to fight diseases, resulting in frequent illness and if not taken care off, could cause blindness and death. She called on mothers to always bring their children for immunisation.
Applauding Lagos State government efforts, executive secretary of Yaba Council Development Area, Bola Lawal Olumegbon, said measles is a viral infection and children are more susceptible. She noted that early symptoms of the disease include cough, fever, red eyes, running nose and sore throat, and if untreated could lead to complications such as severe diarrhea, bronchitis, ear infection and blindness.
In his remarks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) coordinator for Lagos State, Dr. Sunday Abidoye, enjoined mothers and caregivers to immunise their children from ages nine months to five years, irrespective of their previous immunisations status.
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