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Anambra begins polio vaccination to check spread from Enugu



The Anambra State Government, on Thursday, announced plans to commence polio vaccination for children in order to check the spread of the virus from neighbouring Enugu State.

This was disclosed by the state’s Commissioner for Health, Dr Afam Obidike, at a press conference in Akwa to flag off the polio immunisation campaign.

Obidike said the exercise was being implemented by the Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency in partnership with the World Health Organisation and other partners.

According to him, this is the second phase of the exercise following the first phase undertaken between September 16 and 19 during which  2.3 million children under the age of 0-59 months were vaccinated.

The commissioner said the second phase of vaccination was in response to the outbreak of the polio virus in a neighbouring town, Nkanu West in Enugu State.

He said, “We encourage parents and caregivers to present their children to be immunised to strengthen their immunity against the virus.

“We are also integrating routine immunisation during this four-day exercise as well as birth registration for children to help the state government with data to plan for their health care.

“So, it is an all-encompassing campaign. The vaccines are safe and free of charge. We are hopeful that the campaign will be as successful as we had in the first phase.

“We urge the media to take the news out there so that people can understand the need to vaccinate their children against the disease. Vaccinated children live healthy and longer.”

While appreciating the WHO and other partners for their support, the commissioner urged residents to report any health worker who demanded money to administer the vaccines.

Also speaking, the state Coordinator, WHO, Dr Adamu Abdul-Nasir, congratulated Anambra for exceeding the target and recording top in the South-East in the first phase of the vaccination exercise.

Abdul-Nasir said, “We want to commend the state government for its political will and proactive measures in preventing the polio virus from spreading to the state.

“In this second phase, WHO is supporting the state with logistics and allowances for over 9,000 personnel who will be going to homes, churches, markets, streets and schools to administer the vaccines.

“We are also supporting hard-to-reach communities to ensure that all eligible children get vaccinated”.

Earlier in her address, the Executive Secretary, ASPHCDA, Chisom Uchem, said the state had taken delivery of over two million doses of the polio vaccine for the OBR-II campaign.

Uchem said the vaccination would start on Saturday, November 11 and end on November 14 in the  21 local government areas of the state.

“These few days, we will go all out to the nooks and crannies of the state to strengthen and surpass what we recorded in the first phase of the vaccination,” she said.



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