By Francis Onyeukwu, Awka.
The Anambra State Government has expressed fears over possible outbreak of cholera and other infectious diseases, following devastating flood in the state.
Dr Chioma Ezenyimulu, the Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), voiced the concern at a one-day media engagement on Thursday in Awka, ahead of forthcoming State Measles Vaccination Campaign.
Ezenyimulu, who was represented by Dr Placid Uliagbapusi, the State Director, Disease Control and Immunisation, said that the campaign would begin on Oct. 25 and end on Nov. 2.
The ASPHCDA boss said that although the state had scheduled the measles vaccination campaign, the flood disaster in seven of the 21 local government areas of the state had heightened fears of possible outbreak of cholera and other diseases.
Ezenyimulu said: “We are worried that with the devastating flood disaster, the state might witness cholera and other infectious diseases.”
The health official, therefore, urged the public to observe good hygiene and keep the environment clean to avoid any disease outbreak.
While responding to journalists’ questions, Ezenyimulu explained that the measles vaccination campaign would be postponed in the seven local government areas where the impact of the flood disaster was high.
She said that the forthcoming measles vaccination campaign was a stand-alone one, targeting 95 per cent baseline coverage of the state, adding that “the target group is nine to 59 months.”
Mr Christian Maluchukwu, an official of World Health Organisation (WHO), in a goodwill message, urged the media and the public to support the campaign.
He said that the state recorded the death of 19 children and 500 measles cases in 16 local government areas recently.
Maluchukwu said that measles infections usually occurred around November and February, adding that if people participate actively in the measles vaccination campaign, the problem would be avoided.
Representatives of United Nations International Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA)
delivered messages at the event, which was attended by more than 60 media practitioners and other participants.