By Ogar Monday
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The Cross River State Government has begun the Second Outbreak Response, OBR2, vaccination exercise aimed at keeping the State polio count at zero.
The Government said it has also set up a Rapid Response Team across major borders in the State to optimize poliomyelitis vaccination and other childhood killer diseases across the border communities.
The revelation was made by Dr. Linda Ayade, wife of the Cross River State Governor at the flag-off ceremony held in Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
The First Lady said the Second Outbreak Response on poliomyelitis is necessary to strengthen border surveillance and achieve a 100% polio immunization in the State.
She held that the continuous influx of children into the State after the previous exercise is another reason for this.
Dr. Linda, represented by the Director-General of the Cross River State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Janet Ekpenyong said the State has recorded impressive outcomes in previous exercises through the combined efforts of stakeholders who have shown a strong will in combating contagious diseases.
She said: “Today we are flagging off the Outbreak Response 2 campaign against the dreaded type2 poliovirus. In this particular campaign, we are targeting children between the ages of 0-5 years. This is because we want to ensure that Cross River State does not record any cases of polio.
“The Outbreak Response campaign allows us to ensure that health workers reach out to children in hard-to-reach areas across the State. We are hoping to vaccinate over 900,000 children and we believe that this will allow us to ensure that every child is protected against the virus especially those in border communities as we have set up a border surveillance and review team to ensure 100% coverage.”
Dr. Linda added that “We have also done border synchronization, that is people from other parts of the country can reach out to other countries to ensure that those who are close to our borders are also vaccinated.”
The Director of Public Health, Cross River State Ministry of Health, Dr. Iwara Iwara commended the Government for the political will to support immunization in the State.
He urged mothers and caregivers not to compromise in ensuring that children get immunized.
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