Ben Ezechime, Enugu
The Enugu State Government has targeted children in three local government areas in the state for special polio vaccination intervention, also known as OutBreak Response (OBR).
The State Immunisation Officer, Dr Chinyere Chime, disclosed this in Enugu during a One-Day Stakeholders’ Engagement Meeting on OutBreak Response (OBR) and HPV Vaccination launch in the state.
The stakeholders’ engagement, which featured non-governmental organisations, traditional rulers, health partners, faith-based organisations, educational unions and media, was organised by the Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA).
Chime said that the vaccination would be carried in 18 political wards, which cover the 14 political wards in Nkanu West LGA; three political wards in Awgu LGA and one political ward in Udi LGA.
She said that the vaccination would be held for four days, between July 15 and July 18; adding that it would target children between the ages of zero and five years within these localities.
“We are going to administer oral drop vaccines to all children within the areas and ensure that no child is left out.
“We have trained health workers that will visit homes, schools, churches, market places and everywhere children are found to immunise them with two drops of potent oral polio vaccines.
“There would be special immunisation teams as well to ensure that we meet our target and if need be, we may have extra days for mop exercise,” she said.
The State Immunisation Officer explained that the special polio vaccination intervention was meant to track the single suspected polio case that was detected in a community within Nkanu West LGA few weeks ago.
She said: “We want to ensure that the dread polio disease does not spread beyond the child that has the suspected case.
“That is why we are taking the pain to re-vaccinate all children in Nkanu West council area and all political wards in council areas sharing a common boundary with Nkanu West LGA, which is in Awgu and Udi council areas.”
She appealed to stakeholders living within the areas and mothers/caregivers to make their children available for the vaccinating teams, adding that “the vaccines are safe, secured and effective.”
Chime also thanked UNICEF, WHO and other foreign and local partners as well as the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for their unrelenting support to special and routine vaccination pogrammes in the state.