Abuja reactivates polio eradication task force

Hudu Yakubu, Abuja

The Nigerian Federal Capital Territory Administration has approved the reactivation of the FCT Task Force on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunisation exercise to maintain zero level of poliomyelitis in the Territory.
The FCT Permanent, Dr. Babatope Ajakaiye, stated this while inaugurating the reactivated Task Force in Abuja.

Dr. Ajakaiye said that the action was taken as a proactive measure to prevent any resurgence of poliomyelitis in any part of the Federal Capital Territory.

He further revealed that the Administration has also approved the expansion of the Task Force membership in order to ensure sector-wide stakeholder participation.

The Permanent Secretary noted that the effort is geared towards strengthening Childhood Immunisation Services across the 8,000 square kilometers of the Territory.

Dr. Ajakaiye insisted that Abuja must remain the pace setter for the 36 states of the federation to emulate and therefore urged members of the Task Team to work very hard to maintain the tempo.

He assured the team that the FCT Administration would continue to provide all the necessary support to ensure that the programmes earmarked for the sustenance of the agenda are fully implemented.

The Task Force’s terms of reference is to ensure effective leadership and coordination of all immunisation activities by the FCT; prepare and regularly review/update a 12 month state plan for the intensification of Polio Eradication and Routine Immunisation activities required interrupt/sustain interruption of wild poliovirus transmission.

Other terms of reference are to ensure the formation of LGA inter-sectoral committees to coordinate planning and implementation of quality routine immunization campaigns at LGA level; to over see preparation of budgets for immunization activities, advocate for timely and adequate resource allocation and ensure judicious use of all funds allocation for these activities as well as coordinate the planning and execution of polio eradication supplemental immunisation activities amongst others.

According to him, to give the desired impetus the assignment deserves, the reactivated and expanded Task Force would be Chaired by himself, the FCT Permanent Secretary and the Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Board would serve as the Secretary.

Other members of the 35-Member Task Force include some officials of the FCT Administration, Traditional Rulers, Religious Organizations, Media, World Health Organization, UNICEF, European Union, Emergency Agencies as well as the FCT Area Councils’ officials.

Speaking earlier, the Acting Secretary of the FCT Health and Human Services Secretariat, Mrs. Alice Odey Achu gave assurance that the Secretariat is poised to sustain the zero status of the Federal Capital Territory in poliomyelitis.

The inaugural meeting to appraise the previous achievements as well as hit the ground running on the new task ahead was held immediately after the inauguration.