The Enugu State Government says it has begun mass vaccination in Igbo Etiti Local Government Area, where a single yellow fever case was confirmed recently.
The Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr George Ugwu, disclosed this to newsmen in Enugu on Tuesday.
“Igbo Etiti Local Government Area was confirmed to have an outbreak of yellow fever recently; we have started vaccination, targeting 269,030 residents,’’ he said.
He explained that the state received the single confirmed yellow fever case from the samples sent to the National Laboratory, Abuja, very early in the week while it awaited results of other samples.
Ugwu said that the state now had confirmed yellow fever cases in four of its local government areas.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Igboeze North, Nsukka and Isi-Uzo Local Government Areas of the state had earlier recorded 30 deaths traceable to yellow.
The state government has already responded with massive yellow fever vaccination of about one million residents in the initial three local government areas affected by the disease.
Government equally fumigated the affected local government areas.
He said the state, through the ENS-PHCDA, had begun robust multi-sectoral action to contain the disease in the affected local government areas.
“We treat a single confirmed case of yellow fever as it is in Igbo Etiti like an epidemic, and that is why we have moved in quickly to check the spread and cut transmission,” he said.
The executive secretary said 269,030 residents were targeted for vaccination, which represented 85 per cent of the population.
Ugwu said the vaccination would be for residents between the age range of nine months and 44 years.
He said the state was making efforts to contain the disease and had moved in health educators and mobilisers to further educator the locals about the outbreak.
The executive secretary added that already mass media and traditional media awareness campaign concerning the disease had begun in earnest.
“We want them to ensure that anybody sick is reported to the nearest health facility for proper diagnostic care.
“This is to check self-medication and superstitious beliefs that lead to health complications most times,’’ he said.
Contributing, Mr. Amaechi Nsodukwa, State Immunisation Officer, said the ENS-PHCDA had trained vaccinators for Igbo Etiti local government area.
Nsodukwa added that the ENS-PHCDA had trained and equipped 87 teams, made up of five vaccinators per team for the job.
“Among the 87 teams, 47 had been posted to fixed health posts such as the Primary Healthcare Centres and 40 who can move in anywhere beyond the PHC centres were sent to temporarily fixed health posts.
“It is ongoing simultaneously in 20 wards within the council area and will last for 10 days, beginning from today, Nov. 24,’’ he said.
Initial symptoms of yellow fever include headache, jaundice, muscle pain, nausea, vomiting and fatigue and serious cases may cause heart, liver and kidney conditions.
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