Immunization and health activities in schools have been banned in Bayelsa State by the state government.
This action resulted from panic caused by false alarm raised over purported death of two pupils at St. Judes Secondary School after receiving monkey pox immunization.
In Bayelsa, parents started withdrawing their wards from schools from Wednesday following the rumour.
The state Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr. Daniel Iworiso-Markson, announced the ban at a joint press briefing with his Health counterpart, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu.
Iworiso-Markson said the government would monitor the situation and ensure strict compliance.
He also called on the management of schools to “verify the identity of those who come around their premises for one thing or the other.”
The commissioner debunked the rumour which led to the withdrawal of students from schools.
“No such thing is happening,” he said.
“I want to say that there is currently no vaccine against ‘Monkey Pox’, it does not exist. So, proprietors of schools should not allow any stranger to come and administer such on their pupils.
“Anyone dressed in Army uniform, clinical or lab cloth injecting children should be reported.
“The rumour is unhealthy and we condemn it. As a government, we are on top of the case and we will get to the root of where this falsehood emanated from,” he said.
Also speaking on the issue, the spokesman of the 16 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Yenagoa , Capt. Danjuma Danjuma, said the army was not conducting immunisation in schools as part of its on-goingOperation Crocodile Smile II.
His words: “The Brigade is not conducting vaccination in any school in Bayelsa. The reports are rumours peddled by mischief makers.
“There is no evidence to prove this allegation. It is rather unfortunate.”