By Olasunkanmi Onifade
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) says it is targeting 85 per cent of Abuja residents during the upcoming Yellow fever preventive campaign.
The Secretary, Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA, Mr Abubakar Bappa, disclosed this to newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.
Bappa said the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) and other international donor partners would support the administration in the mass vaccination.
According to him, the international donors include the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF).
He said the campaign, which would be carried out in six states including the FCT, was scheduled from Nov. 24 to Dec. 7.
He said that the target age group was nine months to 44 years.
“The goal of the yellow fever preventive mass vaccination campaign is to reduce transmission by achieving 95 per cent coverage in implementing states and local government areas.
“This is in line with the strategy for the elimination of yellow fever epidemics by 2026.
“The mass campaign is based on the 2008 risk assessment which identified 20 states and FCT as high risk states.
“Similarly, the phase one of the yellow fever vaccination campaign was completed in 2014 and it targeted three states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Nasarawa, in which 10.4 million people were covered,’’ Bappa said.
He said in 2018, five cases of yellow fever were confirmed with three deaths out of 15 reported in the FCT.
“I have to let you know that the FCT is ready for this exercise as scheduled.
“The target population to be vaccinated in the FCT is 3,293,438; that is 85 per cent of the total FCT population.
“The total number of teams to be used in FCT is 1,342 including 171 special teams,’’ the official said.
According to him, the vaccination will take place at all government health facilities and temporary posts in chiefs’ palaces and other public places in the communities.
He said that the outreach teams would vaccinate eligible persons in churches, schools and other institutions.
Bappa said the FCTA would use the vaccination campaign to strengthen the state’s health system and immunisation programmes.
“We will strengthen the pharmaco-vigilance system for monitoring adverse effects following immunisation as well as implement a high quality vaccination campaign which takes lessons from previous campaign into consideration.
“The vaccination is by injection, given on the left upper arm. It is free and safe,’’ he said.
Yellow fever, the secretary said, was a viral disease usually of short duration, adding that in most cases, symptoms are similar to those of malaria fever including fever, chills, loss of appetite, nausea and muscle pains.
He said for about 15 per cent of people, within a day of improving, the fever comes back with abdominal pain and liver damage causing yellow skin with increasing risk of bleeding and kidney problems.
Bappa said the disease was caused by the yellow fever virus and is spread by the bite of primarily an infested female Aedes Aegypti mosquito.
The Aedes Aegypti is a type of mosquito found throughout the tropics and subtropics.