By Oluwafunke Ishola, Lagos.
The Lagos State Government, in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), has started Polio Outbreak Response (OBR) Campaign, following the discovery of circulating poliovirus strains in the state.
Dr Ibrahim Mustafa, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB), disclosed this in a statement on Sunday in Lagos.
Recall that Nigeria was certified free from Wild Polio Virus (WPV) on Aug. 25, 2020, after three consecutive years of reporting no case of WPV.
Mustafa, however, said that some countries still transmitted the wild polio variant, which had been on increase in some states across Nigeria due to low routine immunisation coverage.
He noted that the campaign was necessary to prevent a setback to Nigeria’s laudable achievements and critical to maintain the country’s polio-free status, following the certification she received in August 2020.
According to him, the campaign will take place between Jan. 21 and 24 in all Local Government Areas and Local Council Development Areas of the state.
“The campaign aims to vaccinate all children, aged 0 to five years, with two drops of the oral polio vaccine, regardless of their previous vaccination status, to prevent poliomyelitis that may result in paralysis of the limbs or death,” he said.
The permanent secretary said that vaccination teams would visit residential homes, schools, churches, mosques, estates and all public places where eligible children could be found.
“In view of this, we solicit all parents, guardians, community leaders, pastors and imams to ensure that all eligible children are vaccinated during the campaign in all our communities,” he said.
Mustafa also said that routine immunisation services would be available at the primary health centres during the campaign.
He advised that all children, under the age of two years, must complete their routine immunisation as scheduled, saying that immunisation was effective, safe and free.