By Abooluwa Famakinwa, Akure
The Ondo State Government has said it will not rest on its oars until the State achieves 100% immunisation coverage.
The State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Akeredolu made this commitment at the flag off ceremony of the February round of National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) which held in Akure.
Arakunrin Akeredolu who was represented by the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro said it was his administration’s resolve to continue to support immunisation activities and this, it has done consistently, making the state rank among the best in the country.
In his words, the result of this unwavering commitment is the great improvement in routine immunisation which has taken the state from 68% in 2018, to 86% in 2019, which is above the national benchmark for performance.
He added that the target of the State is 100% as the failure of one child to take the Oral Polio Vaccine and other vaccination is a collective failure and a looming danger for the immunity and public health space of the state .
The Governor further opined that the regular funding of Primary Healthcare Agency and it’s activities has brought about great reduction in the neonatal as well as Under five children mortality and morbidity.
He thanked stakeholders for their support and for accepting the health interventions of the government while urging them to step up intensive mobilisation activities.
The Governor then flagged off the February round of the National Immunisation Days Plus by immunising some children at the Democracy Park in Akure.
In his goodwill message, Mr Tunde Ayoade of UNICEF who spoke on behalf of all Development Partners in the state, congratulated the governor and his team for their support and mobilisation of the Grassroot to embrace Polio eradication initiatives and other routine immunisation .
Mr Ayoade encouraged Mothers and Caregivers to ensure their children and wards are immunised against Polio and other preventable childhood killer diseases.
The State CAN Chairman, Rev. Ayo Oladipo appreciated the State Government, Health workers and stakeholders for keying into the vision of Polio eradication and other childhood killer diseases.
The Chief Imam Gaga Community, Alhaji Yusuf Agbesinga who also spoke admonished parents and caregivers to allow their children and wards to be part of the immunisation process.
On behalf of traditional rulers, the Oliyere of Iyere , Oba Omotunde Adako said traditional rulers in the state have always supported immunisation activities and will continue to do this, for the survival of children in the state.
The Iyalaje -Iyaloja General, Chief Mrs Iwalola Adefenwa advised Market Women and mothers to make their children available for immunisation.
The State President, National Council of Women Societies, Mrs Jumoke Aborode harped on the importance of immunisation while appealing to women, not only to key into government immunisation activities but to spread the immunisation gospel.
Also lending his voice, the State NOA Director, Mr Bode Famose appreciated the governor for his interest in Primary Healthcare and immunisation activities ,while promising his Agency’s support in the area of sensitisation.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Executive Secretary Ondo State primary healthcare development agency, Dr Francis Akanbiemu who represented the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro appreciated the State governor for prioritising Primary healthcare and for funding it’s activities which has resulted in the improvement performance of immunisation activities.
The commitment of the state government in his words, is further demonstrated by the signing into law of the bill establishing the Primary Healthcare Development Agency .
Another Giant stride of the government is the approval for the complete devolution of the Primary Healthcare staff from the Local government service commission to the Primary Healthcare Development Agency which according to him, will bring about a monumental improvement in Primary Healthcare service delivery in the State.