The Kwara Government on Thursday advised mothers and caregivers to make their wards and children available for immunisation against Rotavirus and other diseases.
The state Mobilisation Officer, Kwara State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Dupe Shittu, gave the advice at a stakeholders’ engagement meeting in Ilorin.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting was organised to secure commitment and support for the rollout Rotavirus vaccines, so as to tackle the Rota diarrhoea disease in children in the state.
Shittu enjoined parents to complete the immunisation schedule of their wards and children to ensure that they are safe from diseases that affect infants in the first five years of life.
She said that the Rota Diarrhoea disease, caused by the rotavirus, was most common in infants and young children of three to 35 months of age, adding that older children can also get sick from the rotavirus.
She said further that the vaccine was the best way to protect the child against diarrhoea disease caused by rotavirus, and that it would be available in all health facilities during fixed and outreach immunisation sessions.
The Director, Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Micheal Oguntoye,explained that previously the vaccine was not part of the National Immunisation schedule despite the fact that it had been in existence for a long.
Oguntoye stated that the Federal Government was making it available now so that Nigerians could access the vaccine freely while appealing to people to take advantage of it by visiting any healthcare centre closest to them to get them for free.
According to him, the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic derailed efforts to introduce the vaccine as part of routine immunisation for children, but that the vaccine has come to stay in Nigeria.
The director also called on community and religious leaders to embrace the vaccine and sensitise the public and their adherents on the need to take the vaccine for children.
The Chief Medical Director of Children Hospital Centre Igboro, Ilorin, advised parents that apart from making their wards available to collect the vaccine, they should ensure that hygiene was given high priority.
She observed that the major cause of diarrhoea in teething infants includes an unhygienic environment while advising parents and caregivers to ensure that their environment was clean and their hands are washed always at intervals.
NAN reports that the Rota vaccine will be introduced into the Nigeria Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI) scheduled on Aug. 22nd.
Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe diarrhoea in children below the age of five, worldwide. It commonly causes severe watery diarrhoea, vomiting, and intestinal symptoms in infants and young children.
Though infections occur all through the year, in Nigeria, studies show greater incidence in warm dry months