Rotary International District 9142 has identified religious beliefs, conflicts and insecurity as among numerous challenges facing health workers in reaching out to children for vaccination.
Chairperson, Host Organizing committee for the 2023 District 9142 Polio Seminar, Rotarian Olachi Emegakor stated this during the Polio Plus Seminar 2023 held at the ASUU Secretariat, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.
The seminar is targeted at brainstorming on ways of surmounting the daunting challenges faced in the total eradication of Polio virus from the face of the earth.
Emegakor, past Assistant Governor of Rotary International, however said the body had made incredible progress in the fight against Polio across the world amidst daunting challenges.
“We’re here to celebrate the milestone achieved in Polio eradication as well as ensuring that there is no reoccurrence of the virus in most communities.
“It’s however unfortunate that our health workers still encounter difficulty in reaching out to every child for vaccination ranging from religious beliefs to conflicts and insecurity, among others.
The stakeholders agreed that Rotary had recorded remarkable progress in the reduction of polio cases by ninty-nine percent of over thirty-five years.
The seminar drew participants from all the South East District member states including a representative of the president of Rotary International, Polio plus coordinators as well as Coordinators from Cross River and Akwa Ibom States .
Field Coordinator of Polio Plus in Southern Nigeria, Rotarian Gbenga Olayiwole, while delivering a lecture, stressed the need to maintain zero percent polio reoccurrence, despite World Health Organization (WHO) declaration that five of the WHO’s six regions representing more than 90 percent of the world’s population, are now free of the disease.
He however, regretted that Polio virus is still endemic in some countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan, both in the WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean region.
Olayiwole further emphasised that the event was necessitated by the need to remind Rotarians of their duties and responsibilities to ensure that Polio is completely eradicated from the face of the Earth .
In their separate paper presentations, PDG Andy Uwajeyan, and Hillary Ozor lauded the coordination and cooperation between governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, health workers and Rotarians in working tirelessly towards supporting the global effort to end polio.
Earlier, District Governor, Rotary International, District 9142, Rotarian Akan Emah underscored need for Nigeria to maintain the zero percent level of polio since the attainment and certification as a Polio free country two years ago.
The Vice Chancellor, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Awka, Professor Charles Esimone, while underscoring the essence of funding for vaccination, enjoined members to give freely to Rotary assuring them of transparency and accountability in the judicious use of their resources .
One of the participants and member representing Njikoka two Constituency in the Anambra State House of Assembly, Mr Jude Akpua harped on cleanliness and sanitation as ways of preventing the spread of the virus.
He noted that the legislative arm was enacting quality laws which are in tandem with the Governor Chukwuma Soludo Agenda in maintaining a clean, green environment.