LOKOJA – Gov. Idris Wada of Kogi State on Saturday said the state government was making efforts to reduce cost of treatment for children below five years and pregnant women in  public hospitals. Wada made this known at the launch of the 2014 Immunisation Plus Days in Lokoja. He said the move was part of efforts to meet the critical health needs of the affected groups. Represented by Yomi Awoniyi, the Deputy Governor, Wada said the state government would improve nutrition, reduce communicable diseases, create more access to essential drugs, safe water and improve sanitation. The governor expressed the hope that the efforts coupled with other steps being taken by the local governments in the state would further reduce mother and child mortality rate in the state. He appealed to parents and guardians, especially those living in the rural areas, to bring out their children for immunisation against the six killer diseases. In his remarks, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Idris Omede, said that government had commenced the renovation of all cold chain stores in the state to guarantee safety of vaccines, needles and syringes. Omede said that part of the grant given to the state by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in 2012 was used to buy equipment and also to provide solar power in all drug stores and hospitals.

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He gave assurance that the state government was totally committed to eradicate polio and other killer diseases. The commissioner said that 12 million doses of oral vaccines had been distributed across the 21 local government areas of the state for the exercise which would run from Aug. 9 to Aug. 12. Also, Alhaji Aliyu Usman, the Chairman of Lokoja Local Government Area, said that immunisation officials had been mandated to ensure 95 per cent coverage during the period. Usman called on parents, nursing mothers and traditional rulers to join in the fight against polio and other killer diseases. Highlight of the occasion was the administration of polio vaccine on some children by the deputy governor. (NAN)

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