The Imo State Director of the Agency, Mr. Vitus Ekeocha made the call at Mgbidi in Oru West Local Government Area of the State during a sensitization organized by Stakeholders in the health sector.
Mr. Ekeocha explained that statistics from health institutions had revealed significant decrease in the number of children that received routine vaccines especially in the rural areas.
He blamed the situation on the rumoured killer- monkey pox vaccine which caused panic in the area.
Mr. Ekeocha described the rumour as baseless and urged the people to protect their children and wards from polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases by availing them of routine immunization which he said were being administered at no cost.
“We have been going from one local government to the other and the essence of the town hall meeting is to tell our people that that rumour about injecting monkey pox vaccine was false. Because of that rumour many people no longer present their children for immunization in the state. Immunization is free it is the right of every child. Even it affected the distribution of insecticidal treated nets in the State. Many people could not turn out to collect their nets because they were afraid.”
An Official of the State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Louis Onyeike who expressed fear over the possible resurgence of poliomyelitis in the country urged the people to embrace the nationwide campaign against measles which has been scheduled to commence early in twenty eighteen.
An Indigene of the area and Chairman Primary Health Care Development Agency in the State Dr. Ndubueze Nwakudu said the sensitization would go a long way in reversing the trend.
“I am very happy with their visit especially in my own local government. The message for which they came for will really get to the expected audience. The rumour was so vicious and I am happy that conscious effort is being made to disprove such vicious rumour.”
The Town hall meeting which was facilitated by UNICEF, WHO and other Stakeholders in the health sector was attended by traditional rulers, the clergy, school proprietors and women leaders from various communities in the Council.