The Edo State Government has urged religious leaders, traditional rulers, parents, and caregivers to support public enlightenment campaigns to eradicate circulating variant poliovirus type 2 amongst children to reduce childhood diseases.
Addressing the stakeholders at the flag-off of the Synchronized Second Outbreak Response (OBR2) to Circulating Variant Polio Virus held at Iwogban Primary Healthcare Centre, in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Area, the Edo State Deputy Governor, Rt. Hon. Comrade Phillip Shaibu noted that immunization is crucial to the survival of children against vaccine-preventable diseases.
The deputy governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Health, Prof. Obehi Akoria, said during the outbreak response, children aged between 0 and 5 years will be administered two drops of the novel polio vaccine type 2 alongside other antigens that are due.
Shaibu noted that the government with its partners will continue to allocate more resources to ensure a seamless campaign, urging parents and caregivers to ensure that their eligible children are immunized against polio.
On her part, Executive Secretary, Edo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), Dr. Mrs. Otaniyenuwa Eloghosa Obarisiagbon, said, “It is imperative to note that polio mainly affects children under 5 years of age. There is no cure for polio. It can only be prevented.
“That is why the campaign was put in place to eradicate circulating variant poliovirus type 2 amongst children and reduce childhood diseases. During the campaign, vaccinators will be seen moving from house to house, religious houses such as churches, mosques, and traditional worship centers, as well as creches, recreational centers, markets, and shopping malls, etc.”
The Executive Secretary assured, “The oral polio vaccine (nopV) is not harmful. It is safe, effective, and given free of charge.”
The World Health Organisation (WHO) Representative, Dr. Efemena Onowugbeda commended the state government for the political will to support immunization in the state.