BENIN CITY- Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has flagged off the 2020 Sub National Immunization plus Days (SIPDs) with a call to all target neonates/toddlers and children 0-5years old to access the free and safe oral Polio immunization.
Represented by his Deputy, Rt Hon Comrade Philip Shaibu at the Immunization Centre, Central Hospital, Benin City, the Governor said that, “The SIPDs house to house campaign activities for January 2020 are scheduled to hold from Saturday 11 to Tuesday January 14, 2020.”
Obaseki stated that the “Importance of immunization cannot be overemphasized. It is crucial to the survival of children and prevention against all deadly vaccine preventable diseases. This occasion is to sensitize the people of the state on the importance of immunizing our children.
During this Sub-National Immunization Plus Days (SIPDs) campaign, children 0 to 5 years of age will be administered 2 drops of oral polio vaccine and other antigens. This is to help with the total transmission and eradication of wild polio virus among children and also reduce childhood illnesses and death.
This exercise is to complement the routine immunization service which is available in all our primary health care facilities in Edo State.
Four Local Government Areas in Edo State (Etsako East, Etsako Central, Esan North-East and Esan Central) were involved in the last outbreak response campaign which took place in the months of September and October, 2019. I was made to understand that appreciable success was achieved in the coverage.”
The Governor went further to say that ” I am glad to inform you that Nigeria marked three years without a case of wild polio virus on August 21, 2019. This is a great milestone in the polio eradication programme in Nigeria. Edo State has been polio free since March 2009. This is largely due to the commitment of our government and it’s enormous support for immunization activities.
I use this opportunity to appeal to our parents, caregivers, religious and community leaders, to take this as their responsibility to ensure that every child in our community is vaccinated, as it will cost nothing to immunize them against polio virus and other vaccine preventable diseases.
Edo State under my administration is determined to provide adequate and sustained delivery of quality healthcare that will meet the aspirations of Edo people. We will continue to strengthen immunization activities as a key strategy to reducing infant and child mortality.”
Edo State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Patrick Okundia said the routine immunization is the main strategy for protecting children 0-5 years against vaccine preventable diseases such as measles, meningitis, tuberculosis, diphtheria, pertussis, poliomyelitis, tetanus, hepatitis B and yellow fever.
Okundia said that during the SIPDs activities, children 0-5 years of age will be administered two drops of oral polio vaccine and other antigens. This is to help with the total eradication of wild polio virus among children and also reduce childhood illnesses, deformities and death.
This exercise, he maintained, is also to complement and remind caregivers about routine immunization service which is available in all our primary health care facilities (PHC) in Edo State.
Okundia harped on the need for all stakeholders and health workers to be committed towards reaching the set target age group in all the local government areas irrespective of location.
He also revealed that monitors have been specifically engaged to ensure that the house to house vaccinators as well as the workers at the fixed posts carry out their duties diligently so that all eligible children in Edo State benefit from the exercise.
While appreciating the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency under the leadership of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency for efforts made in the implementation of the campaign, educated parents, guardians and caregivers and especially mothers, Okundia said that the vaccines are not harmful but good for children. Repeated doses he said, will boost the immunity of children aside being a safe and free process.
He maintained that this immunization, “Was the surest way to prevent polio disease and to improve proper development and good health of our children.”
Executive Secretary, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) DR. (Mrs.) Julie Erhabor in her welcome address observed that, “Beyond his unrivalled achievements in the area of infrastructural development and transformation of our dear state, Mr. Governor has also taken the front row in ensuring that our people are healthy, by always supporting all health programmes including immunization. And we pray that he should not relent as his administration has helped the state sustain the Polio free status it has achieved so far.”
On behalf of development partners, the State Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO) Mrs. Faith Ireye prayed for the sustenance of the Immunization drive and tempo to help push down polio and other vaccine preventable diseases to make the set June whistle blowing day” feasible for certifying the state Polio free by the world body.
Ireye speaking on the Immunization drive stated that since 2009, there has been no outbreak of Polio in the state. To sustain this tempo, she noted that this year, 2020, activities lined up would be more than last year (2019) as all the strategies used have been upscaled from the municipal area to the other seventeen local government areas of Edo State.
She posited, “Those four local government areas in which we did some work because of an outbreak, are doing great. Incidentally, those four local government areas under surveillance were actually not prone to any outbreak but we had to watch due to their proximity to a neighbouring state, Kogi State, which brought up the need to protect the children in these areas.
The independent monitors that went there brought back the best LQS results we have had in Edo State. Since then, we have not had an outbreak in the state”.