By Ovat Abeng
Anambra State Government will on Friday, flagged off its second phase of oral polio vaccination campaign as well as the outbreak response, targeting over 2.6 million children under the age of 0-59 months across the 21 LGAs of the state.
The State Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Ben Obidike, while addressing a press conference at his office to commenced the exercise, informed the public that the vaccination is free of charge.
The Commissioner called on nursing mothers and guardians to make their children and wards available for the free gesture at any Primary Healthcare facility nearest to them.
Obidike said: “We are responding to the outbreak of Polio Virus in a neighbouring town, Nkanu West in Enugu state.
“We have not recorded any case in Anambra but the natural thing to do is to increase our vaccination to prevent the spread to the state.
“Again, we want to encourage mothers and guardians to ensure their children and wards are vaccinated. It is a free, safe and effective oral vaccine; and there is nothing to worry about.
“We have put in place quality assurance team in case of any complications and it will be handled appropriately.
“We have also mobilised 660 fixed posts across the state and we hope to reach and vaccinate about 2.64 million children to reduce the risk of polio spread in the state.”
We will go all out to Churches, Mosques, schools and the nook and crannies of the state to look for children and get them vaccinated.
We also want to appeal to the media to help us informed the public about the exercise and other health achievements we have recorded so far in less than two years administration of governor Chukwuma Charles Soludo in the state.
“He reiterated that the state government is doing this for free of charge.
In her remarks, Mrs Chisom Uchem, Executive Secretary, Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA), said that the vaccination would start on Friday November. 10 and end on November 14 in all the local government areas of the state.
According to ASPHCDA boss, the campaign will be monitored by Enhanced independent monitors and LQAS surveyors to ensure quality and coverage.”
“The campaign was implemented by the Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in partnership with United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and SYDANI Initiative for International Development.
Also speaking, Dr Adamu Abdul-Nasir, State Coordinator, WHO, appreciated the state government for its political will and proactive measures in preventing the polio virus from spreading to the state
It was gathered that the programme themed: “KEEP POLIO AT ZERO,” will be officially flags off at Primary Health Centre (PHC) Umueze-Anam in Anambra West Local Government Area of Anambra State.