The Commissioner for Health in Kogi state, Dr. Saka Audu, has asked the rural community dwellers to shun all social norms that could discourage vaccination of children in the state.
He stated this during the official flag off of the National Immunization Plus Days
(NIPDs), in Lokoja, the state capital.
The commissioner noted that the vaccines were meant to prevent child killer diseases and cause no harm to the child.
The event which took place at the Government House premises, was attended by women and their children from the 21 Local Government Areas of the state.
Dr. Saka in his address, pointed out that NIPDs was set aside in the country to immunize children between the ages of one and five years old, with oral polio vaccine, along side other vaccines in accordance with the national schedule.
He therefore implored the administrators from the 21 LGAs in the state to make available adequate funds and other required logistics to the programme and ensure that the target groups were immunized.
He stressed that Kogi state has been polio free since 2009 and it was indeed a thing of joy for him that they were getting it right.
Furthermore, he noted that Nigeria was at the verge of being certified polio free by the W.H.O.
“I encourage you all to keep up the good work until we achieve total eradication of wild polio virus in Kogi state in particular and Nigeria in general.
“The health policies in this administration’s new direction blueprint, will bring great relief to all the people of Kogi, when it is finally operational,” he stated.
In his speech, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Health Matters, Dr. Ahmed Attah, commended the governor for graciously approving the release of counterparts fund for all health programmes in the state.
He noted that poliomyelitis was a deadly childhood disease that could cause disability by crippling the affected children and even killing them in some cases.
“One of the ways to deal squarely with the disease is the National Immunization Plus Days that has been scheduled from March 25 to 28, 2017 and every household in the state would be covered.
“Children would be immunized against childhood preventable diseases such as polio, diphtheria, pertussis, pneumonia, whooping cough, hepatitis b, measles and yellow fever according to the national schedule”, he noted.
Representative of the World Health Organisation (W.H.O), Kennedy Adejoh, in his keynote address said Nigeria was clarified as an endemic country.
Mr. Adejoh, therefore, reaffirmed the commitment of the W.H.O including the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) to eradicate polio in Kogi state and in Nigeria in general.
On the other hand, representative of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Mr James Folayan, hailed Governor Bello for his efforts and commitment to the progress of the programme.
“Everything has been put in place and the stage is set for full implementation.
“I urge the state and all the Local Government Areas to continue the support with proper monitoring,” he stated.