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Epidemiologist Dr. Muhammad Balogun Emphasizes Importance of Vaccines in Disease Prevention

Epidemiologist Emphasizes Importance of Vaccines in Disease Prevention

Dr. Muhammad Balogun, an epidemiologist, highlighted the critical role of vaccines in preventing diseases during a session in Abuja. He stressed the significance of routine immunization in combating various illnesses.

Dr. Balogun emphasized the proactive nature of routine immunization, explaining that it aims to prevent disease outbreaks rather than react to them. He highlighted the importance of maintaining vaccine schedules for newborns to receive essential vaccinations against diseases like measles and diphtheria.

Despite the availability of vaccines, Dr. Balogun acknowledged vaccine hesitancy among some individuals, which can undermine vaccination efforts. He also noted challenges related to vaccine storage and efficacy.

In response to disease outbreaks, campaigns are conducted to administer vaccines against diseases like meningitis, measles, and polio. Dr. Balogun mentioned positive developments, such as the introduction of a new Pentavalent vaccine that targets multiple strains of meningitis and other bacterial pathogens.

Regarding Lassa fever, Dr. Balogun revealed that a vaccine has been developed, and trials will soon determine its efficacy. He emphasized the need for innovative approaches to control diseases like Lassa fever, especially in impoverished areas where rodent control has been challenging.

Dr. Balogun drew parallels with successful vaccination campaigns that eradicated diseases like smallpox and polio, expressing optimism about leveraging vaccines to combat Lassa fever effectively.

The session, part of the Africa Disease Reporting Fellowship (ADReF) aimed at enhancing journalists’ skills in disease reporting from an African perspective, provided valuable insights into disease prevention strategies and vaccine development efforts.

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