Poliomyelitis: Kwara targets 1.5 million children for vaccination

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The Kwara Government has said it will target about 1.5 million children between zero and five years of age, for polio vaccination across the 16 Local Government Area of the State.

READ ALSO:Routine immunisation will eradicate polio in Nigeria – UNICEF

Dr Nusirat Elelu, the Kwara State Executive Secretary of the Primary Healthcare Development Agency, stated this on Friday in Ilorin during a news conference on the commencement of the Second Round of Polio Vaccination.

She stated that the second round of the
poliomyelitis vaccination will commence on Saturday, 20th of April, 2024.

Elelu pointed out that the vaccination is free for all children, zero to five years of age, and that the state government has also ensured that the Immunization Certificate (Purple Cards) will now be issued free for all children who have completed their routine vaccination.

According to her, there are over 500 health facilities providing routine immunization (RI) with strong cold room chain system in the state.

She recalled that the unwavering support and financial commitment of Gov. Abdulrahman Abdulrazak enabled the Agency to reach over 1.5 million children with life saving polio vaccine during the first round that took place in March 2024.

Elelu described Polio as a highly infectious viral diseases that largely affects children under five years of age.

She explained that the virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly throught the faecal-oral route, or contaminated water or food.

“According to the World Health Organization, more than 20 million people are able to walk today, who would otherwise have been paralyzed, due to these global preventive campaigns.

“Wild Poliovirus cases have decreased by 99 per cent since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases in more than 125 endemic countries to six reported cases in 2021,” she said.

The executive secretary also added that the Wild poliovirus type 2 was eradicated in 1999, and Wild poliovirus type 3 was eradicated in 2020.

She, however, stated that by 2023, Wild polio type 1, was still endemic in two countries of the world – Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Elelu stated that the African region was certified polio free in 2020, following the acceptance of Nigeria’s documentation for polio certification, adding that Nigeria was the last country in Africa to become polio free.

She explained further that the Agency, with the support from the state government, will ensure that hard to reach areas of the state are fully accessed for the vaccination.

She also appealed to mothers and caregivers to disregard any fake misinformation on the vaccines, saying that it is safe and efficacious, with no fear of overdose.

 

NAN/Wumi

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