The Ondo State government has reminded the citizens of the state not to allow COVID-19 to overshadow the need to strengthen immunisation against vaccine preventable diseases, especially measles.
This was disclosed by the commissioner for health in Ondo State, Dr. Wahab Adegbenro, at a media parley organised by Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (OSPHCDA) in partnership with UNICEF.
Adegbenro said that if one was not careful, the COVID-19 pandemic could make one lose sight of the fact that other killer diseases of childhood were still very much of a threat and thus must not be left unattended to.
He further said that the government had provided needed support to the various health facilities and health workers in the fight against COVID-19.
The commissioner told the gathering that Ondo State would recruit more health workers soonest, explaining that Governor Akeredolu had given approval for the process.
In his own remarks during the event, the Executive Secretary, OSPHCDA, Dr Francis Adegoke Akanbiemu noted that it would be wrong to think that because of COVID-19, other childhood killer diseases had gone to rest.
He said because of the need to protect the children against killer diseases, he had directed that all primary health care facilities in Ondo State should increase hours and days of immunization sessions.
He reminded the gathering that all the primary health care facilities in the state were open and that caregivers were free to visit anytime up to 7pm in the evening to get their children vaccinated.
He encouraged mothers to always take their children for immunization, noting that it was the only way the battle against vaccine preventable diseases (VPDs) could be won.
Mr. Ayoade, the representative of UNICEF at the event, explained the roles and responsibilities of the media during the occasion.
He said the media should always engage in responsible reporting of health events and clarify issues with OSPHCDA when necessary to get their facts right.
He noted that measles was a disease that had been with us long before COVID-19 and that the media must not lose sight of this and other diseases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He appealed to them to always use their various platforms to promote immunization and counter false information on immunization activities.
The media practitioners present were encouraged to always support OSPHCDA and the state in the quest to get every child immunized against VPDs.