Polio: Enugu to immunise 300,000 children

Polio: Enugu to immunise 300,000 children

Mrs Toyin Saraki administering oral polio vaccine on a child
Mrs Toyin Saraki administering oral polio vaccine on a child

By Stanley Nwanosike

Enugu State Ministry of Health says 300,000 children between ages of zero and five years would be immunised in the ongoing statewide special polio immunisation.

Dr Ifeanyi Agujiobi, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Health, disclosed this to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Enugu.

Agujiobi, said that the five day exercise, which began on July 27, would be taken to all nook and crannies, even to the remotest farm settlements in the state.

He noted that the ministry and its partners were targeting five to 10 per cent of the 4.9 million population of the state, who are under five years.

He said that the exercise would cover all children under five in the state irrespective of whether they were indigenes or not, assuring “”we are not leaving any child behind in the state’’.

The permanent secretary said that the polio immunisation was free-of-charge.

He, however, appealed to mothers, fathers, caregivers and older ones at home to assist health officials reach every child within the neighbourhood.

““However, we have sent enough trained health officials and their aides to go house-to-house, worship centres/churches, market squares and civil centres to administer these oral polio vaccines on the infants,’’ he said.

According to him, the state government wants to ensure that it maintains the free-polio-status of the state as the ministry and the partners pursue the exercise with all seriousness it deserves.

“The last time we had a reported case of polio in the state was 13 years ago, precisely in 2006.

“Since then, the state had maintained a free-polio-status record through comprehensive and intensive routine polio immunisation,’’ he said.

Agujiobi noted that the exercise had a success target of meeting at least 90 per cent of the total 300,000 children under five in the state.

NAN observed that health officials from the ministry visited most churches, during Sunday services within Enugu metropolis to administer the oral polio vaccines on children.

It would be recalled that the last case of polio in Nigeria was recorded on Aug. 21, 2016.

NAN also reports that the country would get the “International Polio-free Certification’’ on Aug. 21, having maintained polio-free status for three years. (NAN)

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