Sokoto state says it has vaccinated 1.8 million children against polio in the November supplementary rounds conducted in the state.
The November supplementary rounds is being carried out in six northern states to curtail the spread of wild polio virus in the region.
Nigeria’s hope for a polio free certification by the World Health Organzation (WHO) suffered a major setback in August when four new cases of wild polio virus were discovered in Borno state.
The resurgence of the virus informed government’s decision to turn attention to the immunization of eligible children in the region.
Some selected states in northern Nigeria, have also witnessed massive deployment of staff and vaccines for polio immunization in the last three months.
The Director, Polio Emergency Centre, Sokoto. Aminu Shehu, said that the agency has also prioritized giving the vaccine to children who are in transit.
“We also have motor parks immunization for people that are coming into the state and people who are leaving their houses before the vaccinators reach their houses, so the motor park immunisation is one of the ways we reach out to those likely to be missed,” he said.
The Executive Secretary of the Sokoto State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Sani Labaran, explained the tactics adopted by the agency to ensure that migrant children are vaccinated.
“We have a border post team stationed there for every person coming in with eligible child. That child must be immunized before coming into the state and then, we intensify strong surveillance system.
“We ensure that everybody, every child in every community, we scrutinise and ensure that these children are brought for immunization,” he explained.
Meanwhile, health officials in the field say the intervention of the Sultan has helped the more residents to accept the vaccine for their children.
The Chief Nursing Officer, Women and Children Hospital in Sokoto State, Halima Baba-Sirajo, said: “In the past they use to say polio, there is family planning in it, it doesn’t allow them to have babies.
“But with the intervention of His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and other team members creating awareness and enlightening them, telling them it is not true, they are accepting it now more than ever before.”