The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, on Tuesday, disclosed that over two million children, under five years, have been immunised during the supplemental immunisation campaign, under the polio eradication programme in the country.
He stated this at a tree-planting ceremony to commemorate the African Region for Eradication of Wild Polio at the State Secretariat, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
He further stated that measures are being put in place to stop the transmission of 17 Wild Polio Virus, detected in the State.
“It is important to remember that the war against Polio is won not on a silver platter, as we cannot afford to lose our guide, but sustain the innovative approaches, like increasing community involvement and establishing emergency operation centres at national and state levels,” he said.
The Governor maintained that health challenges prevent personal growth and affected a country’s economic development, as a population faced with health issues, could hardly contribute to the economic well being of the society.
He observed that though Nigeria accounted for more than half of the world’s polio cases in 2012, concerted efforts by governments, civil society organisations, religious leaders and other stakeholders, resulted in the eradication of the virus in the country through immunisation.
Prince Abiodun noted that to sustain the effort and maintain the gains recorded so far, his administration would increase immunisation and surveillance, scale up the process in the 20 Local Government Areas and increase funding of the outreach across the 236 Wards including the hard to reach communities, where health facilities are lacking.
The Governor also said the government would make available vaccines in all the Primary Health Centres, provide necessary cool chain equipment to maintain the potency of the vaccines at all times, appreciating the Federal government, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations International Children Education Fund (UNICEF) and other stakeholders for constant technical and financial support to improve the health of children in the State.
Dr Tomi Coker, the State Commissioner for Health, in her remark, appreciated those who have given their lives in the course of eradicating the virus, urging the people to join hands with those in the field to contain the disease.
The WHO representative in the State, Dr Dele Davies on his part, lauded the State government on its immunisation efforts aimed at ensuring that children in the state were free from the virus.
immunised against Polio