Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Muhammadu Bello has flagged-off the third Round of the Polio outbreak vaccine immunization campaign over the weekend at the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, Camp, in Wasa community.
The Minister who was represented by Mrs Alice Achu of the Federal Capital Development Authority, FCDA, said that the immunization exercise is a strategy by government to vaccinate children in the capital city against polio.
Bello said, ‘’this exercise is part of the strategies aimed at vaccinating children against poliomyelitis. It also serves as a booster dose for children already vaccinated and as an opportunity for reaching out to missed children’’, adding that it is a Sub-National vaccine response to the wild polio outbreak in Borno State in August and September of this year.
With coverage below the minimum acceptable 90% in the September round increasing to 98% in the October round as confirmed by the end process monitoring data, FCT has demonstrated progressive improvement in the quality of implementation of the Sub national immunization plus days, he noted.
The minister further urged the Chairmen of the six Area Councils to take up the challenge and be part of ‘’the end polio game’’ in the territory.
Acting Secretary of the Health and Human Services Secretariat who was represented by Executive Secretary of the FCT Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed said that the supplementary immunization campaigns are aimed at vaccinating children from birth to 59 months against polio as well as a booster for children already vaccinated and an opportunity for reaching out to missed children.
He said that because of the increasing number of missed and unimmunized children in which is due to the influx of IDPs, into the FCT has made the city to become a high risk zone so the exercise aims 90% coverage in all wards.
He encouraged parents to avail children from 0- 59 months the opportunity of the 3rd round of immunization plus days such, ‘’ that they are vaccinated with the two drops of potent Oral Polio Vaccine by House-to-house team and Fixed Posts vaccinators at all public and private health facilities and special teams on streets, market places, churches, mosques and such places where eligible children could be found.
Further Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed said that since there is outbreak of polio in the country the immunization exercise which starts from Saturday through to Tuesday the 15th of November is targeted at vaccinating 900, 000 children in the FCT and also enjoined all caregivers to use the opportunity to vaccinate all their children as a way of kicking polio out of the country.
Abuja Municipal Area Council, AMAC, Chairman AdamuCandido disclosed that there are efforts to address the issue of polio in the FCT, through sensitization and dialogue especially in places of non- compliance.
Candido called on the people to observe personal hygiene and avoid open defecation to avoid polio and enjoined parents to ensure that they key into the opportunity to ensure that polio is completely eradicated from Nigeria.