By Ogar Monday
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The Cross River State Government has said it is targeting to vaccinate 900,000 children against wild poliomyelitis across the 18 LGAs in the State.
Dr. Janet Ekpenyong, Director General of the Cross River Primary Health Care Development Agency, CRSPHCDA, made this known in Ugep where the Obol Lopon of Yakurr flagged off the vaccination exercise.
The DG held that for the vaccination exercise to be successful and the devastating effects of the disease on children to be curbed, all hands must be on the table to ensure that mothers bring out their children.
She further stated that there will be continuous advocacy and sensitization in churches, schools, markets, and other places of public gathering.
Her words: “Today, we are officially flagging off the first round of the Outbreak Response on Poliomyelitis for our children between the ages of 0-59 months because they are the most vulnerable due to the level of their immunity.
“There is an outbreak of type 2 poliomyelitis, the Federal and State Governments are embarking on this response to ensure that the child mortality rate is lowered, as this disease has a ripple effect on the socio, economic and general well-being of affected families.
“So far in Cross River State, no record of poliomyelitis 2 variant has been recorded, this is due to the collective efforts of all stakeholders including the traditional, religious and political leaders who are determined to see a healthier Cross River State.” She said.
Dr. Janet held that “the choice of flag off at the palace of the Obol Lopon is because the role of the traditional institution in the promotion of health activities cannot be overemphasized, and the Obol Lopon has always been a voice and a champion of vaccination.”
On his part, the Paramount Ruler of Yakurr, His Royal Majesty, Ofem Ubana Eteng pledged his support towards raising awareness and supporting the outbreak response.
The Obol Lopon held that it is to the benefit of his community that the vaccination exercise is thorough and covers all the areas it needs to.
According to UNICEF, poliomyelitis (also known as polio) is a highly infectious disease affecting babies of 0-59 months and transmitted from person to person. Nigeria in August 2020 became the last African country to be declared polio-free, but barely a year later, there were confirmed cases of wild poliomyelitis in 13 States including the FCT, rolling back the progress made.
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