From Oluwadurotimi Oluwaferanmi, Ilorin
The Kwara State Government says it is ready to do all that it takes to strengthen routine immunisation and make the State Polio free, News Hub Mag! reports .
The State Deputy Governor, Mr Kayode Alabi disclosed this yesterday in Ilorin at a meeting of the State Task Force on Immunisation held in his office.
Mr. Alabi enjoined members of the State Task Force to support government in kicking polio out of the State and strengthen routine immunisation to prevent reoccurrence after clearing the State of the circulating polio virus.
The Deputy Governor also challenged members of the Task Force to join hands with the government to back up the immunisation teams at all levels to ensure no child is denied the opportunity of being vaccinated.
He noted that the Nigeria’s Expanded Programme on Immunisation had achieved slow growth in coverage in the last few years despite huge investments by governments and development partner agencies.
Mr. Alabi explained that in 2015 alone, six out of every ten children representing about 4.3m were not fully vaccinated adding that with concerted efforts the last case of the Wild Polio Virus so far in the Country was in 2016.
The Deputy Governor lamented that as the country is set to become polio free, sadly the State has been having recurrent outbreak of another type of the polio virus an indication of low immunity among the Children.
He highlighted some of the progress and commitment on the part of the stakeholders.
Later while flagging off the campaign, Mr. Alabi said the State is committed to improved Primary Health care service delivery by strengthening the State Primary Health Care Development Agency to rid the State of polio and other vaccine preventable diseases among others.
The Deputy Governor stated categorically that the vaccine is safe, free and has no over dosage for all eligible children and would be taken from house to house in nine local government areas.
He encouraged all mothers, caregivers, schools and other custodians of children from zero to five years to make them available for vaccination.
The Chairman, Kwara State House Committee on Health, Alhaji Olatunde Rasaq Owolabi said the House would do the needful to eradicate polio and ensure clean environment in the State.
Alhaji Owolabi called on the people to always obey the sanitation laws and take active part in the cleaning of their environment.
On her part, the Executive Secretary of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Abimbola Folorunsho stressed the need to put in place the Task Force to ensure full compliance with the immunisation to eradicate polio completely in the state.
Dr. Folorunsho noted that environmental sanitation is key to the success of the exercise.
She highlighted some of the challenges facing the Agency to include not having access to the children, especially in the rural areas due to lack of road, shortage of skilled personnel and lack of community ownership.
Stakeholders who attended the meeting including community and religious leaders, voluntary organisations, transport unions and health practitioners pledged their support and praised the government for its intervention.