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Over 900,000 Children Targeted As CRSG Flag Off The 2022 National Immunization Plus Days Campaign

Deputy Governor, Prof. Ivara Esu during the flag-off

The Cross River State Government have flagged off the National Immunization Plus Days Exercise with a call to parents and caregivers to maximize the opportunity in getting rid of vaccine-preventable diseases in the state.

The state Deputy Governor, His Excellency, Professor Ivara Esu gave the charge in Calabar during the official flag-off ceremony of the National Immunization Plus Days Exercise at the Conference Hall of the Deputy Governor's Office Calabar.

Performing the exercise, Professor Ivara Esu described the exercise as one of the most essential civic responsibilities that must be performed by parents to raise a guaranteed society rid of common communicable and preventable deaths.

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The Deputy Governor assured that the administration of Senator Professor Benedict Ayade will continue to place a greater premium on the health needs of the people of the state through funding and regular upgrading of facilities and equipment to move along with the developed world in the 21st-century world. 

Professor Esu maintained further that the importance of the Immunization exercise cannot be over flogged bearing in mind the devastating effects of such childhood diseases such as measles and polio in particular which affect the limbs of children amongst others. 

He commended the Director-General of the State  Primary Health Care Development Agency SPHCDA Dr. Janet Ekpenyong for the level of passion and enthusiasm she has put into ensuring that the health agency is one of the flagship and point of pride in the country, stressing that the achievement recorded by the agency and the state health sector in general during the COVID-19 right from 2019 is proudly amazing. He also commended the entire health team led by the Hon Commissioner for health, Dr Betta Edu for their response against Covid-19 and other health matters in the state. 

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In her remarks, the Director-General, Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong said the NIPDs is one of those high impact interventions initiated by the federal and state government with partners to sustain the gains made in the eradication of the wild poliovirus. She said the NIPDs serves as an opportunity to get all children within the ages of 0-5years protected against polio, particularly those who for some reason may have missed out on the routine Immunization. She said the exercise targets over 900,000 children and she promised that the state will achieve 100%.

She expressed her profound gratitude and appreciation to the state Governor, Senator Professor Benedict Ayade through the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu for his sincere commitment towards the realization of the lofty ideals set out for the agency and the health sector to achieve. 

According to her, the commitment and support from the state hierarchy including Her Excellency, Dr Linda Ayade, has fast-tracked the achievements of the agency and the health sector as shown in previous successes and current strides which today has rated Cross River State among the top-performing state in the country.

Dr Ekpenyong disclosed that it is as the result of this encouragement from their Excellencies that her agency and the health sector is at the forefront of other health care development drive in the country to ensure that the gains of the past are sustained and more strides are achieved for the benefit of the people. She also commended, the Hon Commissioner for health, Dr Betta Edu and other health team members for the great leadership and team spirit which is yielding results. 

Speaking also, Chairman, House Committee on health  Cross River House of Assembly, Dr. Ekpo-Ekpo Bassey, revealed that the primary purpose of government is to provide security and welfare as lucidly captured in the nation's constitution. 

He maintained that health care is one of the essential components of the welfare programme which is placed on the shoulder of the government while pledging on behalf of the CRHA to partner with the PHCDA to ensure that the people enjoy quality and robust health services. 

The Chairman of Akpabuyo LGA and Chairman of Chairmen Hon Emmanuel Bassey pledged the support of all LGA Chairmen to Immunization and other PHC activities. 

The event coincided with the 2022 Maiden Meeting of the state Task Team on Immunization, the Deputy Governor who is also the Chairman of the meeting said that Immunisation is a veritable national and state exercise that is ultimately vital in the life of the citizenry, most importantly for those from zero to 59 months. 

High points of the day were goodwill messages from development partners including WHO, UNICEF, while the Deputy Governor, Professor Ivara Esu administered the vaccine to some babies assisted by the Chairman, House Committee on HEALTH, Dr. Bassey, the Director-General of PHCDA, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, the Chairman of Akpabuyo Local government Area and Chairman of Chairmen in the state, Emmanuel Bassey.

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