BENIN CITY- Edo State Government in collaboration with it’s partner agency, the World Health Organization (WHO), on Friday, flagged off the, “Fractional inactivated polio eradication campaign” in Edo State at Akho Primary School, Irrua, Esan Central Local Government Area.
The vaccination exercise which runs from March 21 to 27, 2020, across designated healthcare centres in the local government, is meant to trace susceptible and eligible children within designated age bracket of “0- 59” months for vaccination to boost their immunity to fight and eradicate childhood diseases including poliomyelitis.
The fractional inactivated polio eradication vaccination administered in two formats (oral or injection) gives cover to eligible children ages 0- 59 months if vaccination with Bivalent Orimune Oral Polio Virus (BOPV) while others aged three months – 59 months get protected by administration with the Fractional Inactivated Polio Virus (FIPV) vaccine.
The vaccination is meant to run in four (4) of the eighteen local government areas of Edo State, “Etsako Central, Etsako East, Esan Central and Esan North-East,” due to shared boundary and attendant migrational commercial activities with Kogi State which has weakened surveillance.
Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) State Immunization Officer (SIO), Mrs. Charity Usifo said the vaccination would give coverage to eligible children who missed the previous poliomyelitis eradication exercise, upping the ante in the fight that leaves no child behind or unimmunized, to prevent a disease reoccurrence.
Explaining, she stated that this vaccination exercise was a follow-up on the September/October 2009 vaccination programme, based on an
“Outbreak Response (OBR) programme,”
put in place to reach and protect vulnerable children from contracting polio.
She voiced, “This local government area is one of the four chosen for the exercise because it shares border with Kogi State which has “circulatory virus.” This is done to backup the previous response carried out in September/October last year to buffer up on the two Esan Local Government Areas (Esan Central and Esan North-East) which are weak on surveillance.”
The fractional inactivated polio eradication exercise she upheld is different from the previous one, this is a follow-up on the inactivated polio virus vaccination (IPV), hence, the reduced administration to, “One fifth” quantity (1/5) of the original dose as a booster to immunity.
Usifo maintained that the flag off of this vaccination process was highly successful since mothers voluntarily brought eligible children for participation which she observed would form a support base for children from the other three at risk local government areas to let them know that the state is in full support for the surveillance and vaccination of children not yet reached.
“Esan North-East is a weak Local Government Area, the state had to come there to support the flag off of the Fractional inactivated polio eradication campaign. However, since this vaccination is fractional, it means the right dose for the IPV is 0.5mls but in the inactivated we give one fifth of the full dose, which is 0.1mls, that is why the name fractional came into existence.”
Chairman, Esan Central, Hon. Waziri Edokpa represented by his wife, Mrs. Edokpa Fadal- Mary praised Edo state government in partnership with health agencies for putting in place and flagging off the vaccination programme which would lead to a reduction of diseases that ravage the state especially in children who have an opportunity to be vaccinated for optimal health and a better tomorrow.
“What is happening in other places has taken place here too, which is kudos to our governor and his government. I feel so happy. A new way of carrying out this exercise has been introduced with the idea of gifting children with edibles which has motivated them to step forward to take the vaccination.
This exercise is free. We hope to reach a lot of people in the interiors. We have health centres in all the ten wards, we hope to get children vaccinated using the health centre closest to them due to the strategic plan of the chairman and his team through the health department.
We have sensitized the people concerning the exercise through the use of town criers so they are aware of what is going on. Mothers should make good use of this exercise.”
Head of Service, Esan Central Local Government Council, Mr. Odigie Austine said of the four at risk local governments, they at Esan Central take, “The health of our people as our priority. We don’t play with it. The flag off has been done here. We are moving interior to cover the ten wards in Esan Central. I am impressed with the crowd that turned up.”
Against prevailing background, It should be noted that polio vaccines are vaccines used to prevent poliomyelitis through use of an inactivated poliovirus given through an injection. It could also be administered through the administration of a weakened poliovirus by mouth.
Poliomyelitis or Polio is a virus that, “May cause paralysis which is easily preventable through use of the polio vaccine. It is transmitted through use (ingestion) of contaminated water, food or contact with an infected person.”