Bauchi — The Bauchi State Government has received a total of 1.5 million doses of cholera vaccine to be administered to 750,000 people against the outbreak of the disease.
However, the Governor of Bauchi State, Mr. Bala Mohammed, has lamented that the people of the state have refused to take the vaccination against the disease in spite of the outbreak of the cholera in the state that has claimed over 50 lives.
Mohammed who took a drop of the oral vaccine called on the people of the state to seize the opportunity offered by allowing themselves to be vaccinated against the killer disease.
The governor said that "since the outbreak of the cholera, I directed that all the victims should be treated free of charge as the government will provide all that is needed for such treatment. We thank our development partners for their prompt response to the call for action against the outbreak."
Mohammed assured that government will soon make available the sum of N45m to enable the volunteers to go to the nooks and crannies of the State with the campaign to enlighten the populace on the need to take the vaccination.
He further directed that the Bauchi State Primary Health Care Development Agency (BASPHCDA) should take charge of the funds and make it available to all the volunteers across the state stressing that everything possible must be done to keep the state and its people healthy.
This was made known yesterday by the Executive Chairman of the BASPHCDA, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, during the official flagging off of the vaccination by Mohammed at the Banquet Hall, Government House, Bauchi.
Rilwanu gave an overview of the situation during the occasion and said that there was great apathy by the people towards the exercise, which would end on Friday.
He lamented that though the people have been told of the importance of the vaccination, which is to protect them against infection, the vaccines have been rejected pointing out that some people even went to the extent of chasing away the facilitators of the vaccination.
He appealed to traditional rulers and religious leaders to educate their people on the importance of the vaccination in order to reduce the rate of infection.
He identified Bauchi, Ningi and Toro Local Government Areas as the worst hit by the outbreak.
In his remarks, the Emir of Bauchi, Dr. Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu, assured the governor that the traditional rulers in the state would do everything possible to ensure that the programme succeeded.
Speaking on the vaccination, the governor said the exercise would be carried out in 16 wards of Bauchi Local Government and two wards each in Dass and Toro Local Government Areas where the epidemic is most affected.
To this end, the governor called on people of the affected areas to avail themselves of the opportunity provided by the vaccination teams by cooperating with them for the success of the exercise.
"It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to this very important occasion of the flag off of Oral Cholera Vaccine in Bauchi State. The fact that only Bauchi State has received this vaccine in the country is another indication of the strong collaboration with our partners and their good will to our administration."
He said since the outbreak of the cholera epidemic in the state, the state government has released funds for other activities to effectively respond to the outbreak particularly the provision of drugs and consumables, community awareness, enforcement of environmental sanitation and disinfection of households and premises among others.
According to him, the state government has also constructed additional reservoirs and expanded the water supply network in Bauchi town which has so far reached over sixty five stage of completion.
"Let me at this juncture extend my appreciation to the federal government and our partners for their various support in the ongoing response, especially in hygiene and promotion and social mobilisation," he said.
Governor Mohammed therefore, said the state government would continue to invest in the provision of quality health care through adequate release of funds, especially counterpart funds.
Development partners who spoke at the occasion called concerted effort towards tackling the outbreak of the disease in the state by working assiduously to ensure more doses of vaccines are provided to the state.