Polio: Ogun targets 1.2m children for immunisation

Children being immunised against polio

By Yetunde Fatungase

Ogun Commissioner for Health, Dr Babatunde Ipaye, said on Tuesday that at least 1.2 million children under five years of age would be immunised against polio during the ongoing Outbreak Response (OBR) campaign.
Ipaye, who said this while monitoring the programme at Imoba Community in Ifo Local Government Area of the state, added that particular attention would be given to children in border communities.

He noted that the border areas were more susceptible to outbreak of diseases due to the migration of people.

The commissioner noted that government was more determined to kick the disease out of its communities, especially along the borders and distant areas.

He added that the programme was for every child, irrespective of their parents’ state of origin, status, religion, or political leaning.

“Because of the sheer determination of the state and its partners, we have said that every child must be reached, no matter what.

“We have decided to kick polio out of our dear state and the response from the communities is also encouraging,” he said.

Also speaking, Dr Richard Banda, Head Technical Officer, World Health Organisation (WHO), noted that the state was peculiar due to its many border areas.

Banda stressed that it was important for the stakeholders to take inter-border immunisation seriously.

He said that the present outbreak was caused by a virus that originated from the Northern part of the country and migrated to the state through movement of people along the borderlines.

In her remarks, Dr Hayam Nam, Representative of the United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF),  said that the aim of OBR was to ensure that all children under the age of five years were duly immunised to develop full body immunity against the strain.

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Nam said that in doing so UNICEF would be promoting healthy living among the children at all times.

In their separate responses, the Secretary, Imoba Community Development Association, Mr Samuel Ogunyemi, and Mrs Amope Subair, a mother, expressed appreciation to the government for its efforts at ensuring that children in the state were vaccinated and protected against killer diseases.

They both promised to inform others who were yet to get their children and wards immunised.

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