The Kwara State Government, on Tuesday, flagged off mass vaccination of residents of the state against the COVID-19 virus.
Flagging off the exercise at a ceremony in Ilorin, the Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, urged residents of the state to get themselves vaccinated for protection against COVID-19.
“The vaccines have been adjudged to be safe and devoid of negative adverse effects. Our administration has taken bold steps right from the early days of the pandemic by taking proactive steps such as building a standard treatment centre and provision of conducive and safe work environment to the crop of well-trained health workers in different required specialities, who provide services to COVID-19 patients admitted into the treatment centre,” Mr Alabi said.
“The arrival of COVID 19 vaccine brought a sigh of relief; as we know, like other Vaccine Preventable Diseases, COVID-19 vaccine will reduce the number of illnesses and deaths from the disease,” he added.
“I want to specially thank the management of Kwara State Primary Health Care Development Agency (KSPHCDA) under the leadership of the Executive Secretary, Dr. Nusirat Elelu, in their resilience in ensuring Kwarans get vaccinated on a continuous basis since March 2021.”
He said the state government would continue to do its best to ensure that COVID-19 care and other health services are made available and accessible for everyone.
The Executive Secretary of KSPHCDA, Nusirat Elelu, said the agency has vaccinated over 15,000 individuals since the COVID-19 vaccination exercise began in March.
“Today’s flag off by His Excellency, the Deputy Governor of Kwara State, Kayode Alabi, who doubles as the Chairman of the State Task Force on Immunisation, will activate the commencement of several other mass vaccination sites across the state to ensure that more Kwarans are reached with safe and effective vaccine,” she said.
Mrs Elelu said one of the strategies to scale up the number of vaccinated individuals is mass vaccination.
“This strategy will utilise approaches that include engaging additional public health facilities (primary, secondary and tertiary), use mobile vaccination vehicles, expansion to selected private health facilities as well as (the) establishment of mass vaccination sites in places with a large population,” she explained.
In her goodwill address, the state Coordinator of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Deborah Oladipo, said since the start of the COVID-19 vaccination, 5,891,305 persons had received their first dose, which represents only 5.3 per cent of the overall eligible population.
She said 3,252,067 have received their second dose and become fully vaccinated, representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall population of eligible persons.
“Indeed, there has been an upsurge in the number of people infected with the virus in recent times according to the statistics released by the NCDC. This is why this mass vaccination campaign has become necessary to prepare against the flurry of (festive) activities later this year.
“At this juncture, I thank the Executive Governor of Kwara state, His Excellency, AbdulRahman Abdulrazaq, for his continued support for the agency. The Kwara State government has been a wonderful partner and we will continue to count on that support.”
UNICEF representative, Idris Nagia, applauded the state government for the mass vaccination campaign which he said would go a long way in reaching eligible ages in the state.
Mr Nagia assured the state that UNICEF would give significant support to improve the quality of health care delivery in Kwara.
The Coordinator of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Kwara State, Mustapha Katibi, explained that the benefit of COVID-19 vaccination (partial or full) is to ensure that in case of further infection, the severity is reduced and the case of death is reduced.
“We are very happy for the giant strides the state government is making in the health sector, including COVID-19 vaccination. Of all the states in the country, Kwara State is recognised as one of the high-performing states in COVID-19 vaccination in Nigeria. You are doing so well and I hope with the leadership of His Excellency Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq the pace will be maintained and even surpassed,” the WHO official, said.
Mr Katibi also praised the state government for sustaining commitment in virtually all the health sector, and KWSPHCDA for its sustained mobilisation and sensitisation of the public.
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