By Aderogba George

The FCT Public Health Department and the FCT Primary Health Care Board (FPHCB) have directed residents of the city to go to health centres to take vaccine against meningitis.

The department and the board made the call during interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja, following increased hot weather which resulted to serious heat both during the day and at night.

The department directed residents to also take the vaccine against measles and chickenpox, saying the vaccines are part of the FCT routine immunisation and are available in all health centres in the city.

Hajia Hauwa Suleiman, the Pillar Head, Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE), FCT Public Health Department, said that the department had always prepared itself to confront any disease outbreak in the city.

According to her, vaccine for meningitis is part of the routine vaccines in health facilities in FCT, and urged residents to also take that of measles and chickenpox.

“These vaccines are already on ground; you can take them in any FCT Health facility, primary healthcare hospitals, secondary hospitals, tertiary hospitals, and generally FCT hospitals.

“We have vaccines for meningitis, whether for adults or children; it is always there. We have always prepared for any disease outbreak, the heat is too much now, all resources have been mobilised against this current situation.

“One of such preparations is the use of human resources, our staff to sensitise communities, schools and every crowded areas. We have what we call disease surveillance officers that we are also using.

“The disease surveillance officers are everywhere in the FCT, including the grassroots/communities and we work with community structures.

“We have what we call ‘Ward Head Development Committee Members’, who we usually work with for any health information, we have started creating awareness, sensitisations about all these diseases.

“With all sincererity, we at health promotion unit of the public health department of the FCT and the primary healthcare unit have told them that everybody should be on alert, and we are sensitising schools and communities.”

Suleiman, therefore, cautioned against crowding, saying that “sleeping in a congested area is not allowed during this period.”

She advised residents to keep windows open and rooms ventilated, keep their surroundings clean, “and even when fans are on, windows should be kept open.”

She urged motorists to keep windows open when their air conditioner is not on.

Mrs Elizabeth-Iyabo Ladipo, the Head, Advocacy, Communication for Social Mobilisation (ACSM), FPHCB, also said that the board had sensitised schools and communities on safety measures, including that of COVID-19.

According to her, the board has also used some health educators to do some sensitisation on the need for regular hygiene among the people to guard against diseases.

She said “our health educators at the grassroots have been doing a lot, telling people in schools on how to keep a healthy environment, with this government, a lot of things have been done.

“We are working to bring in some partners, foundations to collaborate with us to drive some of our activities; people need to be sensitised, and to create awareness regularly.” (NAN)(
Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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