December 8, 2023

The Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, says the state has introduced Rotavirus vaccines into its routine immunisation programme to avert deaths of under five-year-old children.

The State Immunisation Officer, Mrs. Taiwo Onoro, disclosed this during the LSPHCB, sensitisation meeting on the Introduction of Rotavirus Vaccination on Wednesday in Lagos.

Rotavirus is a contagious virus that causes severe diarrhoea diseases (watery stool), vomiting, and fever mostly in infants and young children.

Onoro noted that rotavirus caused 40 per cent of diarrhoea in children, adding that without proper treatment and care, children who got the disease could become dehydrated or hospitalised, and could even lead to death.

She said the introduction of the vaccine into the RI programme was in recognition of the magnitude of rotavirus-related diarrhoea disease in the state.

According to her, the immunisation programme aims to avert over 50,000 children’s death from the disease annually.

She said that LSPHCB would conduct a state-wide immunisation campaign against rotavirus for seven days, starting from Nov. 25.

“The vaccine will be given free of cost to all infants at the age of six weeks, 10 weeks, and 14 weeks.

“After the campaign, the rotavirus vaccine will be given along with other vaccines under the Ri programmes available at all primary healthcare centres and private hospitals in the state,” she said.

Onoro noted that rotavirus was prevalent during warm weather, stressing that the rotavirus vaccine was the best way to protect children against the disease.

Also, the State Coordination, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Segun Emuju, said immunisation remained the most cost-effective public health intervention against rotavirus.

Emuju said the introduction of the life-saving rotavirus vaccine into the Expanded Programme on Immunisation was crucial because it was expected to avert over 110,000 deaths in under five children in the next 10 years.

He appealed to parents and caregivers to take advantage of the privilege and ensure that their children were vaccinated against all vaccine-preventable diseases. 


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