Permanent Secretary of Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Olugbemiga Aina has enjoined residents to ensure that eligible children within their communities are adequately vaccinated.
Speaking during the official flag-off of the first and second phase of the poliomyelitis vaccination exercise which held at the Secretariat Complex of Somolu Local Government, weekend, Aina informed that, vaccination teams would visit residential homes, schools, churches, mosques, gated estates and all public places where eligible children will be vaccinated.
“We must ensure that our communities are rid of the virus because as long as wild poliovirus is still in circulation in some countries, the whole world remains at risk,” she said.
Representatives of the Federal Government, World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) commended the State Government for taking the lead in healthcare initiatives, especially to protect children.
According to Aina, the first round of the vaccination holds from November 14 to 17, while the second round will take place between December 12 and 15, 2020 in Apapa, Lagos Mainland, Mushin, Somolu and Surulere local government areas of the state.
It would be recalled that the African Regional Commission had formally declared Nigeria Polio free on August 25, 2020, however, the vaccination exercise was initiated as a result of environmental circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) detected at Makoko, Asegere Market in Lagos Mainland in September, this year.
Through the exercise, children between 0 – 5 years would be vaccinated with two drops of oral polio vaccine, regardless of their previous immunisation status, to prevent poliomyelitis that may result in paralysis of the limbs or death.
Earlier, while flagging off the exercise, Lagos First Lady, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu assured that the State Government would continue to implement various initiatives to safeguard the health of residents.
“This Polio free status can only be maintained by strengthening our routine immunisation services and regular surveillance activity in our communities for both wild and vaccine-derived polioviruses and acute flaccid paralysis.
“We should also bear in mind that few other countries which are yet to be certified free of poliovirus will still constitute a threat to the whole world. Therefore, the need for us as a nation to continue with our vaccination strategy in order to improve the health of our children and guarantee their survival to economically viable adults cannot be overemphasized,” she said.
The First Lady commended health workers for their service to humanity despite the challenges so far witnessed this year, especially with regards to the global COVID-19 pandemic.