The Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB) has recently held a forum at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) in Ikeja, to sensitise stakeholders on the introduction of rotavirus vaccine into its routine immunisation programme, in recognition of the magnitude of rotavirus related diarrhoea diseases.
In her address, the Director, Health Education and Health Promotion Services, LSPHCB, Mrs. Clara Owojuyigbe said rotavirus diseases is a very contagious virus that causes diarrhoea diseases in children and spread easily among infants and young children hand to mouth after touching an object that has a small amount of the infected stool on it.
Owojuyigbe, represented by an Assistant Director at the Board, Mrs. Oluwatoyin Finnih, added that the introduction of Rotavirus Vaccination is aimed at averting over 50,000 children’s death from the disease annually and would be given orally to all infants at the age of six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks old along with other vaccines under its routine Immunisation Programme available at the Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs) in all Local Government/Local Council Development Areas as well as private hospitals in Lagos State.
According to her: “The Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, with the support of development partners, is conducting a statewide immunisation campaign against Rotavirus from Friday, 25th to Wednesday, 30th November, 2022 at various Primary Healthcare Centres and designated outreaches across the state”.
“In recognition of stakeholders’ role in humanitarian services and creation of enabling environment for the promotion of health programmes, this sensitisation forum is to update you on the introduction of Rotavirus Vaccination programme which will be integrated into the routine immunisation vaccines for children. We want to solicit your support in community mobilisation and sensitisation of the general public to create more awareness”, she said.
Dr. Bello Bakunawa, a Principal Medical Officer representing National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Abuja, said the various stakeholders at the sensitisation meeting are important to the initiative since they represent various communities in Lagos State that need to be carried along in the rotavirus vaccination programme as the State is leading in piloting the rotavirus vaccine.
Lagos, he noted, has the human resource on health-related programmes as various information passed by various health practitioners on the vaccine are critical in achieving the best in the areas of rotavirus vaccination, just as he solicited the cooperation of all stakeholders to support the state government when the programme is flagged off in Lagos.
The Lagos State Immunisation Coordinator attached to Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Olubunmi Akinlade, remarked that Rotavirus is the main cause of diarrhoea in children under five years.
According to him, the rotavirus vaccine is going to be available from the 5th of November, 2022 in all public and private health facilities, stressing, however, that it would be free of charge for the targeted children who are six weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks old in all State Government Public Healthcare facilities across the State.
Dr. Akinlade, therefore, implored stakeholders to disseminate the information on the rotavirus vaccine, get to know the various side effects and correct rumours or negative information about the vaccine in their various communities.