In a momentous event held at the New Benin Primary Health Care Centre Oredo, Edo State officially flagged off the Second Round Outbreak Response (OBR 2) Campaign to Circulating Variant Polio Virus Type 2 (cVPV2).

While addressing the mothers gathered at the ceremony, the Edo State Hon. Commissioner for Health, Dr. Samuel Alli stated that “Polio is a highly infectious disease that can be prevented through vaccination”.

Dr. Samuel urged mothers and caregivers to take their eligible children aged 0 to 5 years to the facility to be vaccinated and also take advantage of the vaccination team moving from house to house and other locations to ensure their children are vaccinated with two drops of oral polio vaccine administered by the vaccinator.

The Hon. Commissioner commended the efforts of the State Government, as well as the Executive Secretary EDSPHCDA, Dr. Omosigho Izedonmwen and his team, the Edo State Ministry of Health, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the technical partners for their immense contribution to maintaining zero cases of Polio in Edo State. While urging that there is a need to be vigilant and not go to sleep especially with the emergence of the Circulating Variant Polio Virus Type 2 (cVPV2) found in some other states in Nigeria.

Expressing his gratitude, the Executive Secretary, EDSPHCDA, Dr. Omosigho Izedonmwen, acknowledged the efforts of His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Nogheghase Obaseki in supporting immunization activities in Edo State to ensure Polio becomes a thing of the past.

Dr. Izedonmwen announced that the Second Round Outbreak Response campaign is scheduled to hold across all 18 Local Government Areas of the State.

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He continued that it is noteworthy to mention the integration of drugs for the treatment and prevention of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) such as Onchocerciasis (river blindness), Schistosomiasis, and Soil-transmitted Helminthes.

Targeted areas for this comprehensive exercise include six (6) endemic Local Government Areas namely Akoko-Edo, Ovia North East, Ovia South West, Owan West, and Uhunmwode.

He also confirmed that during the campaign, vaccinators will be at every primary health care facility while others would be moving from house to house, schools, crèches, churches, mosques, markets, motor parks, recreational centers, shopping malls, and all other strategic locations to administer 2 drops of the Oral Polio Vaccine to children aged 0 to 59 months and also provide NTD drugs to people aged 5 years and above.

Representing the Chairman of Oredo Local Government Area, Dr. Tom Obaseki, the Oredo Supervisory Counsellor for Health , Hon. Raymond Olaye reaffirmed the Local Government’s unwavering commitment to execution of the OBR campaign, and ensuring that necessary resources would be provided to ensure the success of the program, ultimately safeguarding Edo children from preventable diseases and untimely death.

In a goodwill message from technical partners delivered by the Edo State Coordinator, World Health Organization (WHO) Dr. Nora Eyo, she highlighted the global concern caused by the circulating Variant Polio Virus Type 2 (cVPV2). She also expressed the commitment of partners to aid the Edo State Government in preventing polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

This assistance includes providing technical support during the OBR campaign, enhancing acute paralysis surveillance, and delivering regular vaccinations. Dr. Nora also urged stakeholders to join hands in raising awareness about the benefits of immunization.