Meningitis: Kwara begins routine immunization


The Kwara Government on Monday in Ilorin said that meningitis vaccination would henceforth be introduced in its routine immunisation exercise for children between nine and 15 months of age.

Dr Abimbola Folorunso, the Executive Secretary, Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency, said this at a news conference.

The vaccination, she said, would be flagged off on Tuesday at the Primary Health Care Center at Pakata, Ilorin West Local Government Area.

Folorunso disclosed that the vaccine would be available for every eligible child at every health facility offering routine immunisation services in the state.

According to her, Nigeria is one of the countries located within the meningitis belt .

Folorunso said symptoms of the disease include fever, severe headaches, nausea, vomiting, neck stiffness, mental retardation and ultimately death.

She said the Federal Government with the support of other partners introduced new vaccines such as Pentavalent Vaccines in 2012 and 2013, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccines in 2014 and Inactivated Polio Vaccine in 2015.

“The introduction of these new vaccines is to strengthen the health systems and contribute to the reduction in morbidity and mortality of vaccines preventable diseases.

“To further improve the health status of children in the country, especially the menace of meningitis, the government is introducing Meningitis A Vaccine into routine immunisation programmes as single dose injections for children at the age of nine months,” she said.

Also speaking, Dr Michael Oguntoye, Director, Primary Health Care, Kwara Ministry of Health, said health care workers had already received training on proper administration of the vaccines.

He advised mothers and care givers not to panic if they observe reactions from the vaccines on their children.

Oguntoye said some side effects of the vaccine include, fever, headache, rashes, diarrhea, irritability and loss of appetite among others.

Ime Njoku