Gombe begins vaccination against pneumococcal diseases
The Executive Secretary, Gombe State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Ahmed Gana has disclosed that 800,000 children under five years old die from pneumococcal disease in developing countries every year, according to World Health Organization (WHO).
Dr. Gana, who disclosed this while speaking at the flag off of the Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine in Gombe at the weekend, also noted that about 177,000 children under five are killed by pneumonia in Nigeria, which accounts for 16 per cent of deaths within the age group.
“The introduction of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine in Nigeria will avert estimated 173,225 deaths. Immunization with PCV is a safe and effective means of protecting children against many strains of pneumococcal disease, which will occur less frequently in immunized children,” he said.
According to Dr. Gana, other activities that will effectively assist in pneumococcal infection prevention include, hand washing, exclusive breast-feeding, reduction in indoor air pollution and zinc supplementation.
Also speaking, the Deputy Director Immunization in the Agency, Mr. Musa Ibrahim Kuna, said that the new vaccine would be used in the routine immunization activities from six weeks of birth -10weeks and up to 14 weeks.
He informed that about 1039 health workers from public and private clinic were trained on the new vaccine in the 11 Local Councils of the state, adding that eight states were selected by the National Primary Health Care Devolvement Agency in collaboration with relevant partners, with Gombe inclusive.