Edo government has commenced the application of Pneumococcal Conjucate Vaccination (PCV) to check the spread of child-related diseases in the state, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Aihanuwa Eregie, said.
The commissioner made this known on Wednesday at the launch of the new vaccination programme for children under five years in Benin.
Eregie said the PCV would complement the state government’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation schedule in curtailing child-related diseases.
She added that pneumococcal organisms were major causes of pneumonia, bronchites, meningitis and blood stream infection.
The commissioner said “these infections are common among children between one to 59 months.
“The organism is transmitted through droplets or contact with surface contaminated with the secretions from patients or healthy carriers.’’
Eregie quoted a World Health Organisation survey as saying more than 800,000 children under five years of age die from diseases each year and that pneumonia accounts for 16 per cent of all deaths within the age group in Nigeria.
She, however, reiterated the state government’s commitment to extend mother-and-child healthcare to rural communities across the state.
She urged mothers to embrace the new vaccine which she said was very potent, safe and free and could be accessed at the nearest health facilities.
She said “the Edo government, through the Ministry of Health, will maintain an unwavering commitment to the implementation of the PCV and immunisation of children and mothers.
“The state government is putting in place necessary machinery to ensure that the PCV introduction is successful.’’
Earlier, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Dr Peter Ugbodaga, said Edo was among the first 12 states and the first in the South-South region to introduce the vaccine.