POLIO: Take the Nutrition of your Children Seriously NPHCDA Boss Dr. Odu tells Parents …… as FG intensifies Routine Immunization
Parents have been advised to take the nutrition of their wards seriously as that is one of the ways to ensure the effectiveness of vaccines in children especially in their formation age.
The Ag. Executive Director of Primary Health Care Development Agencies Dr. Emmanuel Odu who gave the advise while briefing newsmen on the updates on the recent Polio Virus Outbreak and response activities in Nigeria said that the general wellbeing of any child plays a major role on the effectiveness of Vaccines as proper nutrition enhances total body metabolism in Children.
Dr. Odu who took time to enumerate the steps taken by the government when the three new cases were discovered in the Northeast region of the country as a result of the Boko. haram Insurgency which made those areas inaccessible to health workers said the government quickly moved into notification of stakeholders and mobilization, case investigation, Vaccination campaigns and routine immunization strengthening to make sure that the three recent cases discovered in the insurgent torne areas of the northeast are properly brought under control.
The NPHCDA Boss while speaking on the comprehensive response plans of the government said that aggressive routine immunization which were broken into 5 Phases spread over a period of about 4 months from August to November is targeting about 31.54 Million children spread over all the 6 geopolitical zones of the country with particular concentration on Northern Nigeria which recorded the three new cases.
On the strategies for improving Access, Quality and effectiveness of response campaigns Dr. Odu said the government has adopted Partnership with the Armed Forces, Engagement of Traditional Leaders, inactivated Polio Vaccine usage which stands at about 1.9 million doses, engagement of other service providers, availability of potent vaccines adequacy, effectiveness of cold chain system and establishment of emergency operations centres in Borno, Yobe, Bauchi, Kano, Katsina, Kaduna and Sokoto States respectively.
Speaking on the successes recorded so far Dr, Odu added that about 5.9 million eligible children were immunized in the 1st round which were carried out in 5 contiguous and very high risk states, while 28.8 Million eligible children were vaccinated out of the 35.5 million targeted in the second phase of the exercise which covered 18 Norther states including the FCT.
With over N9.8 Billion released for polio eradication and immunization this year in Nigeria by the present administration Dr. Odu is full of hope that with the level of support the campaign is getting from stakeholders and development partners, Polio Myelitis will soon be a thing of the past in Nigeria while calling on all stakeholders not to relent on their efforts as it is not over until it is over.
It will be recalled that 3 new cases of polio virus was discovered in the North eastern part of Nigeria August this year after Nigeria was removed from the list of Polio Endemic countries in 2015 by the World Health Organisation WHO
It will now take another 3 years from August 2016 without a new case of Polio before Nigeria can be declared a polio free country by the World Health Organisation WHO.