Not fewer than 36 cases of yellow fever outbreak have been recorded in Katsina State. The state has however embarked on vaccination, a proactive move to curtail the disease. Speaking during the flag-off ceremony of the vaccination in Katsina, the Deputy Governor, Mannir Yakubu who confirmed the cases, said the vaccination exercise is targeted to vaccinate 7 million population of the state.
Yakubu represented by the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Health, Dr Kabir Mustapha said the 36 cases were recorded mostly in Danmusa and Kankara local government areas of the state. According to him, “These emerging cases are the reason I am standing here before you to ensure the commencement of the preventive campaign against this potentially life-threatening disease with free vaccines.”
“Yellow fever is a serious infectious disease transmitted by a specific kind of infected mosquitoes. This is a great opportunity for all caregivers to have their children from the age of 9-month vaccinated and for other individuals up to the age of 44 years. This age range is chosen because they are found to be most affected,” Dr Mustapha said. The Permanent Secretary, however, appealed to the heads of households, individuals, traditional and religious leaders to engage with their community members to guide against vaccine refusal, hesitancy and ensure that all eligible targets population were captured in the vaccination which will last for 10 days.
He equally called on all local government chairmen to attend evening review meetings to provide an oversight function during the exercise while noting that for the success of the exercise it has supplied distribution of vaccines, syringes, and data tools to all the LGAs. The Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Faisal Shuaib said the exercise will be extended to schools, mosques, churches, markets and motor parks among others where the eligibles could be found.
Shuaib represented by his member, National Technical Coordinating Committee, Shehu Usman called on all and sundry to mobilize their families, friends and communities for the yellow fever vaccination. Earlier, the Executive Secretary, State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Shamsudeen Yahaya urged the people not to hesitate in reporting to health facilities any suspected cases of yellow fever.
Dr Yahaya further said plans are also underway to carry out vaccinations on maternal and neonatal tetanus targeted at women of 15-49 years, measles targeting 9 months to 5 years and meningitis for children 1-7 years. Meanwhile, the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Head of Communication Specialist, Musa Rabiu in his goodwill message expressed its readiness to support the state government while noting that its doors are open for support and intervention.