The Oyo State Government says it will conduct three-rounds of vaccination for Maternal Neonatal Tetanus (MNT) in seven affected local government areas to reduce the scourge.
Mrs Oluwakemi Olawoyin, the State Health Educator, Ministry of Health, disclosed this on Tuesday in Ibadan at a sensitisation programme aimed at eliminating MNT in the state.
“The general objective of the new vaccination exercise is to achieve 80 per cent coverage during the three rounds of vaccination exercise across the seven local government areas,’’ she said.
The three-rounds of MNT elimination exercise will hold from Sept. 11 to Sept. 19; Oct. 20 to Oct. 24 and in May 2018.
The vaccination exercise will cover seven local government areas in the state identified as high risk, including Atisbo, Ibarapa North, Itesiwaju, Iwajowa, Oyo West, Saki East and Saki West.
Olawoyin said that government would implement the three focus catch up rounds with TTCV in settlements located five Kilometres or more from a health facility in the seven high risk local government areas.
“Nigeria is a signatory to the international pact for the elimination of Tetanus disease by 2015 but now in 2017, seven local government areas in Oyo State have been identified to be at high risk.
“In order to meet up with an international validation exercise, the Oyo state primary health care board has now begun a three round of vaccination exercise within the affected local government areas.
“We urge all females of reproductive age within the council areas to avail themselves of the new opportunities,’’ she said.
Olawoyin said that findings of a report data and field assessment revealed that five out of the six states in the South-West zone of Nigeria were compatible with MNTE status, except Oyo state.
“The hard to reach populations, like Fulani settlements of Oyo state remain at risk of MNT.
“This was the findings from an assessment programme conducted across the South West region in May 2017,’’ she said.
Olawoyin, who noted that Nigeria was one of the 18 countries globally that were yet to achieve MNTE, said that recent statistics indicated significant drop in number of reported cases.
She appealed to women of reproductive age of between 15 and 49 years and pregnant women in the state to ensure they got proper immunisation against MNT.
The health educator explained that lots of women of child bearing age were ignorant of the need to receive vaccination against Tetanus Diphtheria (TD).
“Some engage in traditional methods of cord care and majority of pregnant women don’t attend Ante Natal Care at health facilities,’’ she said.
Mr Muideen Olalekan, an Assistant Chief Nursing Officer and representative of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, urged women within the reproductive age to ensure that they take advantage of the vaccination exercise.
Olalekan said that women within the reproductive age need to get themselves vaccinated during the five stipulated rounds to have live immunity from MNT.
Some participants in separate interviews commended government and the educators on the campaign, stressing the importance of such sensitisation and benefits.
They also pledged to support the efforts aimed at eliminating MNT across the state and in the country.
MNT is a form of generalised tetanus that occurs in newborns and infants who have not acquired passive immunity from their mothers and therefore are at risk.
It usually occurs through infection of the unhealed umbilical cord, particularly when the cord is cut with a non-sterile instrument.