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1.7 million persons vaccinated with oral cholera vaccination (OCV)- WHO

Bukola Afeni
The World Health Organization and its partners have reached out to over 1.7 million persons vaccinated with 2 doses of Oral Cholera Vaccination(OCV) across 7 LGAs in 4 states of Bauchi, Jigawa, Yobe and Zamfara
The WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo made the disclosure at the WHO training on the integration of oral cholera vaccine in emergency and preventive contexts in Abuja.
He noted that WHO is working in line with the preparedness towards future approved GTFCC application for Nigeria with approximately 9million doses of OCV to implement two campaigns in 14 LGAs in 9 states, including the Federal Capital Territory, which would significantly mitigate the risk of an upsurge of cholera cases during the raining season.
 The Country Representative said Nigeria has just degraded its biggest Cholera outbreak which commenced in 2021 with over 100,000 suspected cases reported.
“We wish to further reiterate the need for the early allocation and shipment of the vaccines to ensure vaccinations are carried out sooner than later”.
“The challenges identified during the 2021 annual GTFCC stakeholder meeting, include;   Poor quality reactive and preventative OCV campaign requests.
Lack of OCV use as an outbreak response in some settings and  Inadequate monitoring and evaluation of OCV campaigns need to be addressed”
“Vaccination campaigns are used to specifically target areas with huge zero doses and ensure that these often-missed children are not only offered OCV but opportunities for all routine vaccination.
Cholera control efforts is a holistic one including all partners involvement”.
The Minister of Health Dr Osagie Ehanire said the training on the integration of oral cholera vaccine in emergency and preventive contexts is a  prelude to equitable access to the vaccine and another step towards the goal of better health for all.
 “This will strengthen our health system by reducing, or even removing one more public health nuisance by vaccination.
We  implore all participants to make the best use of the opportunity and put in their best in the one-week training to acquire knowledge and skills necessary to use the vaccine to eliminate cholera as a recurrent health problem.”
The Minister commended the health body for the laudable and desirable initiative.
 “This a tool for prevention and control of cholera outbreaks, which has for some time now, become a recurrent seasonal public health challenge in many Low and lower-middle-income countries like Nigeria”.
“The first recorded appearance of cholera at an epidemic level in Nigeria was in 1972, with gradually increasing numbers of outbreaks over the years, along with marked mortality and morbidity, and expenses associated with treatment and management..

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