•WHO rates Kwara ‘a high-performing state’
Kwara State Government on Tuesday flagged off mass vaccination of residents of the state against COVID-19 virus.
The mass vaccination campaign signalled government’s renewed commitment to protect the people against the effects of the deadly virus.
“As the scope of the COVID 19 vaccination expands through the mass vaccination campaign throughout the State, I want to encourage all and sundry to ensure protection against COVID-19 by getting themselves vaccinated,” Deputy Governor Kayode Alabi said at the flag off ceremony in Ilorin, the state capital.
“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 specialties who provide services to COVID-19 patients admitted into the treatment centre.”
COVID 19 pandemic has devastated the world economy and it remains a major public health challenge, Alabi said, encouraging all Kwarans to get themselves vaccinated free of charge.
“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 under the leadership of the Executive Secretary Dr. Nusirat Elelu in their resilence in ensuring Kwarans get vaccinated on a continuous basis since March 2021.”
Alabi added that the Kwara State Government will continue to do its best to ensure that COVID-19 care and other health services are made available and accessible for everyone.
Dr Nusirat Elelu, for her part, disclosed that the agency has vaccinated over 15,000 individuals since the inception of the COVID-19 vaccination exercise in March 2021.
“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.
Dr Elelu said one of the strategies to scale up the number vaccinated individuals is the 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 establishment of mass vaccination sites in places with large population,” she explained.
In her goodwill address, Kwara State Coordinator National Primary Healthcare Development Agency Princess Deborah Oladipo announced that since the start of the COVID-19 vaccination, a total of 5,891,305 eligible persons had received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine which represents only 5.3 per cent of the overall eligible population while 3,252,067 have received their second dose and are fully vaccinated, thereby representing only 2.9 per cent of the overall population of eligible persons.
She added: “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 Kwara State Government for the mass vaccination campaign which he said would go a long way in reaching eligible ages in the state.
Nagia assured the state that UNICEF will give significant support to improve the quality of health care delivery in the state.
Coordinator of 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 you are further infected 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 being 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,” Katibi said.
Katibi also appreciated the state government for the sustained commitment in virtually all the health sector and commended the KWSPHCDA for its sustained mobilisation and sensitisation of the public.