The Anambra State Government on Friday said it is targeting over 2.6 million children under the age of 0-59 months as it begins Outbreak Response Exercise against Polio virus in the state.
Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike dropped the hint on Friday at the flag-off of the vaccination campaign being implemented by the State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in partnership with United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
The campaign followed announcement by Enugu state Primary Health Development Agency of recent detection of a circulating variant polio virus type-2 in a baby at Nkanu West.
Obidike said although no polio case had been recorded in the state, but there was need to increase vaccination to prevent the spread to the state.
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.”
State Coordinator, WHO, Dr Adamu Abdul-Nasir lauded state government for its political will and proactive measures in preventing the polio virus from spreading to the state.
Also speaking, Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Mrs Chisom Uchem, said the vaccination would start on Saturday, Sept. 26 and end on Sept. 19, in all the local government areas of the state.
“These few days, 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,” she said.