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The introduction of the new pneumoccocal conjugate vaccine PCV in Kogi and other eleven states of the federation has been described by the Kogi State Governor, Capt Idris Wada, as an essential response to the menace aimed at reducing pneumonia in Nigeria.
Kogi State Governor, Capt Wada stated this in an address on the occasion of the National Flag off of the introduction of pneumoccocal conjugate vaccine in Nigeria held in Lokoja.
Capt Wada who was represented by his Deputy, Yomi Awoniyi, said the newly introduced vaccine is a laudable initiative that is capable of protecting young children against pneumonia and other diseases, disclosed that it is another strategy aimed at reaching every child ad the Nigeria Citizens that are at risk of pneumonia.
The governor remarked that Kogi State has since 2009 sustained its polio free status, called on stakeholders who are in the fore front of disseminating information on routine immunization, polio eradication initiative and other health interactions to sustain the efforts and to influence the acceptance of the newly introduced vaccine in the state.
In a remarks, Dr Halilu Hassan, the Minister of State for Health, represented by Alh Ado Mohammed, Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, said the pneumoccocal conjugate vaccine, being introduced in the eleven states is the first phase.
The second and third phase h disclosed will come up in February and December 2016 across the remaining states of the federation .
The vaccine which Dr Ado noted would prevent 230000 deaths yearly is geared towards meeting the fourth goal of the MDG’s and to fast track efforts in reducing deaths resulting from preventable diseases.
Dr Halilu, commended the Kogi State Government for it’s polio free status since 2009 and for attaining 83 percent immunization coverage.
The new vaccine the Minister explained would help reduce pneumonia, said the agency would continue to promote child survival strategies that would protect the lives of women and children.
In a speech at the flag off, Alh Mohammed Aminu, Board Chairman NPHCDA, said the introduction of the PCV emphasizes the government resolve to protect children from avoidable deaths and diseases. He noted the increase in the coverage of pentavalent vaccine and other vaccines have played a part in drastic reduction in infant mortality rate from 75 per 1000 live births in 2008 to 128 per 1000 live births in 2013.
In a welcome remarks, Kogi State Commissioner for health, Dr Idris Omede, said the state has taken delivery of 96000 doses of the PCV and that health workers have been trained on the use and administration of the vaccines.
Dr Omede said the newly introduced vaccine would prevent death in children under the age of five globally, commended the present administration for its efforts at protecting lives of its citizens, particularly women and children.
Highlights of the flag off were the presentation of good will messages by GSK, UNICEF, WHO and other partners as well as the administering of the PCV on some selected children.
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