by crossriverwatch admin
Over eight hundred thousand children were administered immunization, folic acid along with worm medicines while one hundred and seventy seven women were administered the anti tetanus vaccines during the one week Maternal Newborn and Child Week in Cross River State.
Mrs. Patricia Ebam, the State Immunization Officer who gave the figures to crossriverwatch in an interview in Calabar said the exercise which was flagged off on Tuesday May 30th 2013 by the Cross River State governor Senator Liyel Imoke ended on 2nd June.
According to Mrs. Ebam, the immunization exercise took place in health centers, hospitals and visits to schools, colleges and other places where children congregate to administer the immunization and folic acid to them.
“The main activity of the Maternal Newborn and Child Week was to see that children 0- 11 months are immunized and children 6- 59 months are also given vitamin A, which is the folic acid”.
She said the high success achieved in the immunization and de-worming exercise was largely attributable to the extensive publicity to encourage mothers not to run away from the immunization even when the children are sick. “Even if a child is sick, he or she needs immunization so mothers and care givers were encouraged to bring out their children for the exercise and a whole lot responded”.
The UNICEF officer for the state, Mr. Ephraim Chukwu said during the week, extensive coverage of the state was undertaken including the hinterlands with difficult terrain were also accessed by health officers with the aid of UNICEF to ensure that there is no discrimination amongst the children in urban and rural areas since every child is valuable and should be given the needed medical attention to enable them grow healthy.
According to Chukwu, the state was adequately mapped by UNICEF to ensure that every nook and cranny of the was covered and this placed the state amongst those with the highest percentage of immunized children in Nigeria.
She said “As we are, Cross River State is closely marking the100 percent immunization target where every child is reached and immunized and administered the folic acid and de-worming medicines and this is quite commendable.”
The State governor, Senator Liyel Imoke through his deputy, Mr Efiok Cobham, commended the immunization exercise saying the state has made giant strides in the effective implementation of the immunization scheme and other health related programs like the HIV/AIDS campaign which accounts for the state’s recent winning of the Leadership Award for the South -South states instituted by Bill Gates Foundation for 2012.
“This indeed is in recognition of our giant strides in health and commitment to the well being of our people”.
He said the immunization campaign was for the administration of vaccines, antigens, and vitamin A capsules to enhance the immunity of the children of the state and keep them healthy.
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