Defence Ministry offers free vaccination, sensitisation in Zamfara

The outreach was organised by the ministry to support both federal and state government efforts in tackling the outbreak of the disease.

Children being vaccinated against meningitis

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the event, which flagged off at 1 Base Army Ammunition Depot in Gusau on Tuesday, targeted 500 vulnerable children.

Speaking at the event, Capt. Bashir Ahmad, the Regiment Medical Officer at the depot, said the outreach was organised by the ministry to support both federal and state government efforts in tackling the outbreak of the disease.

Ahmad, who is the head of the medical team of the outreach, said that one of the major programmes of the Medical Department of the ministry was to organise medical outreach and sensitisation to the public whenever there was an epidemic.

“As we know, Zamfara is one of the states affected with recent Cerebro Spinal Meningitis (CSM) outbreak in the country.

“The Ministry of Defence take these issues seriously, that is why it mobilised us to come and carry out this assignment to save lives of the public from dangers of outbreaks.

“The ministry has provided 500 doses of the vaccines and each dose per person; therefore, we targeted about 500 persons in this exercise.

“We are giving emphasis to children because they are more vulnerable to the disease.

“As you can see, we have so far treated over 150 people this morning, we planned to extend this programme to local government areas depending on how we get additional vaccines from the ministry,’’ he said.

Ahmad said the sensitisation was taking place simultaneously with treatments and urged the public to ensure effective compliance to advice on safety measures from the medical personnel.

“People should avoid overcrowding in rooms, they should improve environmental sanitation in their respective homes and personal hygienic conditions,’’ he advised.

NAN reports that the Secretary to the State Government and Chairman of the state government committee on meningitis, Prof. Abdullahi Shinkafi, had announced that about 215 people lost their lives to the epidemic across the state.

The outbreak was first recorded in November 2016.

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