By: Kazeem Biriowo- Abuja.
The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has vowed to eradicate every single form of polio variant in Nigeria by the end of 2023
The Executive Director of NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib made the disclosure on Tuesday in Abuja at the 39th Meeting of the Expert Review Committee(ERC) on Polio and Routine Immunization in Nigeria.
Shuaib said: “We want to finalise to fine tune those plans that will make sure that by the end of 2023, we will have completely eradicated every single form of polio whether it is circulating variant or wild polio virus”.
“We are not completely free of polio until every single type of polio is eradicated from Nigeria. So what we’re having here today is making sure that we don’t rest on our oasis. We’re not going to be complacent”.
Shuaib further said Nigeria is doing better in eradicating polio because of the integration between routine immunisation and polio campaigns.
“We are doing a better job of reaching more kids. It’s very important that parents and guardians don’t wait until health teams come to their houses on a regular basis”.
He said those schedules are available. Parents are supposed to take their children to the health facilities to offer them the routine immunisation vaccines.
“These vaccines provide lifelong protection from vaccine preventable diseases. Just a few weeks ago, you were aware that there was an outbreak of diphtheria in places like Lagos”.
“This is because some of the parents did not take their kids for these routine immunizations. So it’s very critical that if you don’t want to see these types of outbreaks that can lead to that and parents should take their kids for this vaccination.
“We’re going to be working very hard to make sure that we increase information and educate the populace around how important the vaccinations are”.
“We’re working with traditional leaders, with religious leaders, community based organisations, but very importantly with the media, to make sure that people are aware of the importance of these vaccinations”.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Expert Review Committee (ERC), Prof. Akin Osibogun explained that with the support of the government and the partners at all levels of governments, both national and state level, the Committee is making a lot of progress.
Osibogun said there has been an 85% drop in the incidence of CVPv2 In Nigeria and the Committee are really getting close to achieving the goal of eradicating the CVP v2 In Nigeria,
According to him: “While polio has been eradicated in Nigeria, there has been a lot of progress but of course, the challenge would be to continue to add all available resources to us as we have zero in on our goal”
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