NPA immunises employees against meningitis

L-R: Rep. Managing Director Glaxosmithkline Pharmaceutical Nig. Ltd. Dr. Omolabake Okunubi; Rep. Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Abdullahi Goje; and General Manager Medical Services, Dr. Chinwe Abama at the flag-off vaccination of all NPA employees against meningitis at the NPA corporate headquarters, Marina

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has embarked on an immunisation exercise for all its employees, in line with advice by the World Health Organisation to prevent the spread of meningitis in the West African countries.

The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority, Mallam Habib Abdullahi, while flagging off the ceremony, reiterated the NPA’s commitment to the well-being of its workforce.

The Managing Director who was represented by the General Manager, Marine and Operations, Mallam  Abdullahi  Goje, noted that the authority believes in the saying that  ‘health is wealth’ and therefore would make efforts at ensuring that the workforce remained healthy.

 While commending the medical division for their initiative, Mallam Goje urged the division to spread the programme to all port locations and the zonal offices of the authority.

 In her welcome address, the General Manager, Medical Services Dr C.I. Abama, announced the division embarked on the exercise in response to a call by World Health Organisation (WHO) to prevent the spread of meningitis in some of West African countries of Senegal, Chad, Mali, Niger, Cameroon and Nigeria, regarded as meningitis belts.

 Dr. Abama said that meningitis is a serious infection of the meninges, the protective membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, and that GSK Pharmaceuticals is involved in the programme because it is the manufacturer of meningitis drugs.

While listing the benefits of the exercise to include supporting employees well-being, reduction in absenteeism as a result of referrals, cost control, reduction of injuries and improving productivity, she thanked the management for its support for the division’s activities through approvals over the years.

In her contribution, the representative of Glaxo Smithkline Pharmaceuticals, Dr. Omolabake Okunubi lauded the efforts of the NPA, adding that the NPA  management  took a right step in the right direction.

She pointed out that about four hundred and fifty [450] million people across twenty-two [22] African countries are at risk of being infected by the disease because it is contagious and people are mobile,

She noted it is cheaper to prevent the disease than to treat   it. Dr. Okunubi urged all NPA employees to give maximum attention to the programme.

Highlights of the ceremony include a brief sensitisation lecture on meningitis delivered by Dr. Abama and the flag off of the vaccination exercise by the representative of the Managing Director.