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Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State. (Image credit: Ogun Govt)

The Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board (OGPHDB) has introduced Meningitis-A (Men-A) vaccine into the national routine immunisation schedule across the state, Concise News reports.

This is in collaboration with development partners in the health sector.

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The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Ayinde Adesanya, made this known at the at Mowe Health Centre in Obafemi-Owode.

“Before, meningitis used to be rampant in the North, but we know that over time, it is crippling down South, in order to forestall the spread of the epidemic disease, Meningitis-A will be taken alongside yellow fever and measles at nine months. It will protect children against meningitis,” he assured.

The executive secretary of the board, Dr. Elijah Ogunsola, said meningitis is a major public health challenge, caused by different pathogens with the highest global burden seen in bacterial meningitis. He stated that the vaccine would be administered as an injection into the left upper outer thigh at nine months alongside yellow fever and measles vaccines.

He appealed to mothers and caregivers not to be afraid but to allow their children and wards to be given the three injections at the same time, assuring that the vaccines are safe and without side effects.

In their separate remarks, the state co-ordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), Dr. Sunday Abidoye; National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) representative Victoria Adebiyi and the representative, United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Mrs. Florence Molokwu disclosed that Nigeria has 25 states, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), that fall within the Men-A belt, which in effect, have about 26.7 million people between the ages of one and seven years at the risk of the disease, noting that the introduction of the vaccine was another giant stride at improving the health and well-being of children in the State.

In his welcome address, Head of Local Government Administration (HOLGA), Obafemi-Owode Local Government, Dr. Abiodun Sorounke, appreciated the state government for the introduction of Men-A vaccine into the routine immunisation schedule, urging parents and caregivers to bring their children and wards to health facilities and be immunised free of charge.