Oyo State government has said over 1million children would be vaccinated against polio this May in support of effort to rid Nigeria of the crippling disease.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr Azeez Adeduntan spoke at flag off of the second round of the 2017 national immunization plus days (NIPDs) at Ona Ara Local Government Area.
The Health Commissioner said Oyo State cannot afford to be complacent on the disease despite being polio free since year 2009 because a polio case anywhere in Nigeria translates to a polio case everywhere.
He described polio as a disease that prevents children attaining their full potentials in life, urging all parents to ensure all children less than five years receives polio vaccine.
Dr Adeduntan, urging that children should also be vaccinated against other diseases such as measles and tuberculosis, said the crippling disease is not caused by witchcraft and herbs cannot replace vaccination in its prevention.
The health commissioner declared that Ona Ara Local Government was chosen for the flag off of the NIPDs because of its previous lower immunization coverage.
He added “we are not doing this because we have an outbreak. We are confident that with what we have put on ground, all local government areas are going to be visited and a large segment of our children will be covered.”
World Health Organisation, South West zonal coordinator, Dr Olubowale Femiyesin said Nigeria was one of the three countries in the world that harbour Polio virus.
Dr Femiyesin said the NIPDs was significant to ensure Nigeria can eventually be certified polio free.
Oyo State UNICEF’s representative, Dr Modupe Olalotiti-Lawal said every opportunity to ensure children’s health need to be maximised.
Dr Olalotiti-Lawal, noting that immunization takes an important phase in ensuring children’s health, stressed the need for the state government to fortify vaccine cold chain and ensure effective vaccine management so that children can always get patent vaccines.
Ona Ara Local Government caretaker chairman, Mr Aderemi Ogundele assures of government’s commitment to overall welfare of citizens in the state, appealing to all traditional rulers and religious and community leaders to supporting the state remaining Polio free.
(Edited By Olamide Michael)