The Kogi State Primary Health Care Development Agency in Partnership with Religious Leaders, the Media and other Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) hosted Stakeholders to a sensitization meeting on Rota Virus Vaccine introduction.
The meeting which took place at the Agency’s Board room on Wednesday 10th August, 2022 had representatives from the State chapters of NMA, NNANM, MHWUN, NOA, Red Cross Society, NTA, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, State Ministry of Education, State CAN and JNI, Association of Proprietors of Private Schools, Jatto FM, SUBEB, FOMWAN,WOWICAN among others and program officers.
The Agency’s Social Mobilization Officer – Mrs Amodu Abo shared the objectives and expected outcome: To sensitize stakeholders about Rota virus and vaccine introduction, agree on stakeholders support, identify roles and responsibilities and secure commitment of all stakeholders. She elaborated that the role of the Stakeholders is to disseminate key messages on Rota Vaccine, participate in community dialogues, invite medical Officers/health workers to speak to congregations, engage in House-to-house/door-to-door and community mobilization especially in hard to reach communities, disseminate IEC materials using your religious platforms, participate in monitoring and follow-up through campaigns.
Mrs Amodu added that The Rota Vaccine introduction into Nigerian EPI schedule is expected to be rolled out 22nd August, 2022 Nationwide.
A detailed presentation was made by Dr Emmanuel Bola Jonah, the BHCPF FP:
Epidemiology of the Virus: first discovered in humans in 1973; leading cause of severe diarrhea in children below the age of five worldwide; though infection occurs throughout the year; in Nigeria studies shows a greater incidence in the warm dry months; almost every child acquires the infection by their fifth birthday, with majority of infection occurring below the age of one year in most countries.
Symptoms: Going further, Dr Emmanuel stated that infants and young children are most affected and diarrhea episodes which typically last for about 3-7days and symptoms include fever, vomiting, watery diarrhea, severe and a general feeling of being unwell, abdominal pain, dehydration resulting from severe diarrhea. Infants who present dehydration show symptoms and signs including thirst, irritability, restlessness, sunken eyes, decrease skin, turgor, sunken fontanelle (infants).
Mode of Transmission: faeco-oral, where the virus is passed in the stool of an infected individual to the mouth of another individual through direct contact or indirect contact with contaminated hands, surfaces, or objects such as toys. The virus can spread 2 days before to 10 days after the onset of symptoms. It can survive for days on hard and dry surfaces, and it can live for hours on human hands.
Diagnosis and Treatment: Can be diagnosed in the laboratory by stool sample collection and testing.
It is important to note that there is no treatment for rotavirus disease as with some other viral illnesses as Diarrhea from rotaviruses cannot be treated with antibiotics or other drugs; it can only be prevented by prior administration of the Rotavirus vaccine.
Management of children who come down with diarrhea is largely symptomatic with a focus on rehydration, administration of zinc, and continuous feeding. Rehydration should be by oral therapy or parenteral fluid administration, depending on the level of dehydration.
Prevention: by administration of rotavirus vaccine as preventive, promotion of early and exclusive breastfeeding for six months, vitamin A supplementation, safe drinking water, good hygiene, especially hand-washing with soap, and sanitation are adopted strategies to reduce diarrheal diseases in general.
The Stakeholders were informed of the mode of delivery of the Rota vaccine which will be administered along with other vaccines in the EPI schedule in 3 doses and will be available in all facilities during fixed and outreach immunization sessions.
- Children should get 1st dose of Rotavirus vaccine orally at 6 weeks with OPV , Penta1, PCV1, IPV1
- 2nd dose at 10 weeks with OPV2 and
- 3rd dose at 14 weeks with OPV3, PENTA3, PCV3 and IPV2.
Caregivers and parents are advised to ensure their child/children complete the immunization schedule, observe personal and environmental hygiene and good nutrition including exclusive breastfeeding in the first 6 months of a child’s life.
The Executive Director of the Agency- Dr Abubakar Yakubu thanked the stakeholders for always adhering to call and the consistent support in primary health care service delivery. He charged the Stakeholders to do all within their capabilities in passing appropriate messages and expect rejection. He however appealed to treat such cases with patience and follow-up. When necessary, call on relevant bodies/MDAs to further clarify doubts and myths.
“Your collaborative efforts with the Agency in ensuring primary health care service delivery to the people of Kogi State, is not taken for granted and the Agency is grateful for your partnership”.
Dr Abubakar Yakubu