By SOLA OGUNDIPE
To curtail effects of pneumonia and other pneumococcal disorders in the country, the Delta State government in collaboration with Pfizer Nigeria Ltd, are vaccinating 2,000 children with the pneumococcal vaccine, PCV 13, in the Asaba, Kwale and Isoko camps for flood victims in the state.
The partnership which is focusing on awareness of preventive interventions to reduce the impact of pneumonia also involves construction of the Integrated Mother and Child Care Centers in various locations of the state, is one of the activities heralding this year’s World Pneumonia Day.
Speaking on the initiative, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan remarked that prevention of millions of avoidable child deaths from pneumonia every year was a serious public health issue.
“Pneumococcal vaccine offers a viable way to combat antibiotic –resistant strains of pneumococcal disease especially in camp environment situation. In addition to good sanitary conditions through evacuation of waste to forestall the outbreak of epidemic, immunizing the vulnerable and protection of our citizenry especially our young ones remain paramount and tackling Pneumonia, the forgotten child killer is extremely important,” the Governor noted.
He said Delta state has significantly pioneered innovative health initiatives aimed at reducing under- 5 morbidity and mortality reduction through the free medical programme in the state, charting the course towards the attainment of Millennium Development Goals with a proactive plan to reduce the incidence of morbidity and death at the camps, through the Health Post/clinical and routine immunisation.
“Pfizer’s collaboration with Delta state government through the Ministry of Health on World Pneumonia Day is pertinent at this time to ameliorate the scourge of the pneumonia disease. The vaccination is taking place in Asaba, Kwale and Isoko camps located in areas where the
impact of the flood disaster was immense and the vaccines will be centrally distributed,” he noted.
In his remark, Country Manager Pfizer Nigeria and East African Region, NEAR, Mr. Enrico Liggeri, stated: “Pfizer remains committed to partnering with host communities towards a healthier World including providing and increasing access to life – saving medicines for vulnerable groups. Awareness is important but even more valuable is implementation of immunization programs. It is more cost effective ultimately,” he noted.