Anambra Government Flags Off Polio Vaccination Campaign
By Chinwe Onuigbo, Awka
Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), in partnership with State Ministry of Health (SMOH) and partners, has flagged-off the implementation of Outbreak Response (OBR) campaign using the Novel Oral Polio Vaccine.
Speaking at the occasion, Governor Soludo who was represented by Pharmacist Chisom Uchem, Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, urged everyone to ensure that children between 0-59months are vaccinated emphasizing it is free, safe and effective.
“We have also mobilised 660 fixed posts across the state and health workers at the 326 wards that we have in the 179communities in Anambra State to ensure that both schools, churches, mosques, and every household are covered.
“These few days, we will go all out to churches, mosques, schools and the nook and crannies of the state to look for children and get them vaccinated.
“The occurrance of Circulating variant polio virus type 2 ( cVDPV2) outbreaks is of great programmatic significance. Polio caused by wild poliovirus has plagued humanity for centuries, causing paralysis and even death. However, extensive vaccination efforts led by organizations like WHO, UNICEF,SYDANI, Global Polio Eradication Initiative have made remarkable strides in eradicating the wild poliovirus,”she said.
Moreover, the Director of disease control,Dr. Nnamdi Uliagbafusi and the State Health Educator, Mrs Uju Onwuegbuzina said, “The Anambra state Government strategies for the campaign are fixed post strategy ( use of Health facilities and other outreach sites with a trained Health worker as a vaccinator who can give nOPV2 and other RI antigens according to schedule and a recorder), House to House strategy with three persons( Vaccinator, Recorder that doubles as supervisor and a town announcer who must be residing in the community) and Special team strategy ( vaccinator recorder and town announcer).
“The campaign will be monitored by Enhanced independent monitors and LQAS surveyors to ensure quality and coverage.”
The campaign was implemented by the Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in partnership with United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and SYDANI
Initiative for International Development.
The programme themed: “KEEP POLIO AT ZERO,” was held at Primary Health Centre (PHC) Umunnachi, in Dunukofia Local Government Area (LGA) of Anambra State.
Earlier before the ceremony,the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike accompanied by World Health Organization (WHO) Anambra State Coordinator, Dr Adamu Abdul-Nasir, and ASPHCDA Executive Secretary, Pharm Chisom Uchem, told journalists that Anambra State targets fresh vaccination of about 2.64million children between the ages of 0 – 59months(under 5years), within the next four days to prevent outbreak of Pollio mellitus in the state.
According to the commissioner, “We want to encourage our women, schools and religious leaders to release their children to receive the two drops of the vaccine from September 16 to 19, 2023. Within these 4days, our children should not be restricted from receiving the vaccines whether vaccinated before or not.
“We are responding to the outbreak of Polio Virus in a neighbouring town, Nkanu West in Enugu.This massive immunization campaign is to ensure that no single child is affected in Anambra state.
“We have not recorded any case in Anambra but the natural thing to do is to increase our vaccination to prevent the spread to the state.
“Again, we want to encourage mothers and guardians to ensure their children and wards are vaccinated. It is a free, safe and effective oral vaccine; and there is nothing to worry about.”