Enugu – The Enugu State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Ikechukwu Obi, says that the state will fully subscribe to the Federal Government’s COVID-19 vaccine arrangement and mode of administering it in the state.
Obi said this at the weekend to commemorate the 2nd World Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Day over the weekend.
Obi said the anticipated Federal Government COVID-19 vaccine, which must pass Federal regulatory health agencies, is safe and preserved under the prescribed international storage condition.
“The vaccine is safe for our people. As a government, we will not go and get something harmful for our people, our mothers, sisters, brothers and even colleagues.
“So people with negative conspiracy theories on the anticipated Federal Government COVID-19 vaccine should stop such nonsense and unfounded rumour.
“We are here as a ministry to safe-guard the health of our people and lead them to the right path that would continue to guarantee their health and well-being,’’ he said.
The commissioner also warned against residents going to take vaccines from unauthorised places or persons in the state, adding that all vaccinators must have due authorisation and authority paper from the ministry.
On the NTD, he said that the state was pushing hard to give deserving attention as well as eliminate all 20 known NTDs, as “we have actively eliminated guinea worm.
“We are sure that with the active collaboration of our health partners especially the Carter Centre within a few years, there will be nothing as NTDs in the state.
“The ministry is committed to achieve this and reduce the NTD burden of our people, which have caused them poverty and lack these years,’’ he said.
The State Director of Public Health, Dr Boniface Okolo, said the state through the ministry had continued to create awareness on NTDs in most rural communities.
Okolo revealed that the awareness had been effectively supported by the locals taking preventive tablet drugs supplied by the Carter Centre.
The NTDs State Coordinator, Dr Ifeoma Otiji, said about 4.4 million people are at risk of having NTDs in the state if there is no concerted and collaborative effort to check it.
“It is a thing of joy that the state government had started giving due attention to NTDs through health education, awareness and active collaboration with local and international partners.
“We want everybody to join the fight to ensure that within a few years Enugu State will be declared free from all forms of NTDs and our people will be free,’’ Otiji said.
The 2nd NTD Day, which has the theme: “End the Neglect’’, was globally celebrated on Jan. 30.