In an attempt to prevent the outbreak of Polio disease waging war on infants the Ekiti state government and World Health Organisation(WHO) have partnered on enlightenment program to educate the stakeholders on the importance of ensuring mothers in their domains make their children available for the Polio vaccination.
They alerted the general public not to relax on preventing the outbreak of the disease while relying on the belief that Nigeria is certified polio-free.
The government stated that the polio vaccine would be administered between November 13 – 16, to prevent irreversible paralysis in children and contraction of type 2 and 3 viruses causing the polio disease for children below 0 and five years.
A WHO expert and medical Practitioner, Dr. Eyitayo Emmanuel, spoke in Ado Ekiti, during a stakeholders’ awareness meeting on the coming special polio vaccine that would be administered on children below five years across the 16 local government areas of the state.
Emmanuel described the vaccine as the panacea against the viruses that have the capacity to deform the children if not properly handled.
He said: “We have to be vigilant. Children must complete their doses, so that they won’t be affected by any sudden outbreak. We fear about gradual returning of polio to Nigeria, because the world is now a global village.
“Though Nigeria is certified-free, but Pakistan and Afghanistan are yet. We have a special vaccine that can make up for children that are susceptible and it is two doses in 30 days.
“Those majorly probe to the new strain of polio are children that didn’t take full dose of regular polio vaccine. There is no overdose in this special vaccine and it is different from the one being commonly administered on children”.
The Immunisation Officer, Ekiti State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Mrs Chiristianah Ajimati, said as part of the efforts to ensure that children in Ekiti State and Nigeria are protected against avoidable diseases, the state government may henceforth order the arrest of parents who resist vaccines for their children under the Child’s Rights Law.
Ajimati, who regretted how some mothers were resisting the oral vaccine ,said: “The child rights law is in place. The children have their own rights under the law and we have to enforce that. The government can arrest any parent who refuses to allow his children to be vaccinated. But we are together here in Ekiti and that is why we are using persuasion”.
She regretted how some churches and mosques, who ought to play supportive roles were not always cooperating, urging the religious organisations to advise against such unfriendly dispositions .
On the trend of vaccination in Ekiti in the exercises, Ajimati added that; “Moba Local government had the highest with 92.7 percentage coverage while Ado and Gbonyin local governments were the least covered. That is why we are adopting House -to- house campaign, visiting markets, religious centres, schools and farmsteads .
“We have over 1,360 teams that will visit all the towns and villages. We appeal to CAN and Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs to talk to churches and mosques to be receptive when our teams visit them”.
The Director, Disease Control, Ekiti State in the Primary Health Agency, Dr. Nicholas Ojo, said, though Nigeria had been certified polio- free, but still needed to be proactive because of suspected cases in some states of the federation.
“We must remember that Pakistan and Afghanistan,who are wartorn countries, are yet to get the polio-free certificate. Nigeria who is the giant of Africa shouldn’t be having polio problem, in order not to happen, we have to be vigilant about all these diseases. We shouldn’t allow polio returns to Nigeria. We must keep polio at zero”,