UNICEF Prepares Final Blow Against Polio

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By Abdallah el-Kurebe

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in collaboration with Sokoto state government have introduced certain interventions as Nigeria engages in the final fight against Poliomyelitis.

Although it has been delisted from countries with endemic polio disease, efforts were being made towards certification of Nigeria as polio virus free country by WHO in the next two years.

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JAP members monitoring May IPDs

At a meeting with Journalists Against Poliomyelitis and for Immunization (JAP), UNICEF disclosed that the Fund had Health Camps, Doctors Against Polio (DAP), Community Mallams, Qur’anic Mallams, Polio Survivors, Village Community Mobilizers (VCMs), etc as interventions aimed at nipping polio in the bud by 2017.

“These are working tirelessly to ensure that Sokoto state, which was one of the high risk states prior to this time, is completely free from polio. We are happy that no case has been reported till date. This is as a result of our collective efforts,” it said.

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         A health camp in Illela

UNICEF appealed to JAP members to continue with awareness creation and information for the people to continue to be compliant while being cooperative during the Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) as well as Routine Immunization.

At a monitoring exercise in Illela, headquarters of Illela local government of the state on Saturday, a JAP team confirmed that one of the Health Camps at Nassarawa area was busy attending to mothers who brought their children for immunization as well as treatment for other ailments.

JAP further confirmed that children were being brought for treatment of cough, malaria, dysentery, rashes, eye problems, etc.

Acting Director of Primary Healthcare, Faiza Manu told the JAP team that while 99,800 children were targeted for this round, 104 teams were despatched for the exercise and that there were 22 fixed posts, 15 special teams and 11 Health Camps.

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          A child being immunized
Meanwhile, deputy governor of Sokoto state, Ahmed Aliyu called on all parents in the state to continue to support polio immunization programme by making their children available for immunization.

Making the call in Silame, headquarters of Silame local government of the state during the flag off of the May round of polio immunization, the deputy governor said that investigations had revealed that oral polio vaccines had nothing to do with family planning, hence “the need for you to support the program for a healthy society.”

He called on the people to safeguard government’s facilities from vandalization.

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