Rumoured Forced Injection of Monkey Pox Virus Will Scare Parents from Accessing Immunization, says UNICEF
The rumoured forced injection of children with monkey pox virus by military men in some states will pose serious threat to routine immunization if the rumour is not quickly dispelled.
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) health specialist, Dr. Eghe Abe gave this indication at a one day advocacy meeting with media executives at Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, on Wednesday.
Abe noted that such rumour is generating apathy towards accessing immunization against child killer sicknesses among mothers as many of them are reluctant to send their children for the exercise.
He observed that with just 33 % immunization coverage in Nigeria, the consequence of which the nation is still facing for failing to totally eradicate polio, the health of children will be at greater risk if parents shun vaccination of their children.
He said that it was unfortunate that over 80% out of 2,124,561 respondents on UNICEF social interaction platform, U-report, are not aware of the outbreak of monkey pox disease in Nigeria.
The health specialist solicited the assistance of the media for deliberate and conscious sensitization of the public on the monkey pox disease through advocacy reporting.
Meanwhile, a total of 97 suspected cases of the disease have been recorded in the country but with no deaths, as the rumoured death of a patient in Bayelsa state was not related to the disease.
Abe further disclosed that that there is no specific treatment or vaccine for the sickness, but advised that people should maintain good personal hygiene and report suspected cases to the appropriate bodies.
He also cautioned against victimization of monkey pox patients, while reassuring that the disease was not a death sentence.
Monkey pox is transmitted through direct contact with blood, bodily fluids or mucosal lesions of an infected person or animal and affects mostly those within the age of 21 to 40 years.
by Tunde Uchegbuo