By Dipo Olowookere
The Lagos State Government will from Saturday, May 6, 2017 commence implementation of the second round of a 4-day campaign against Poliomyelitis (National Immunization Plus Days) in the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas across the State.
Special Adviser on Primary Healthcare, Dr Olufemi Onanuga, who disclosed this yesterday, said that all children under five years will be vaccinated against the disease with two drops of Oral Polio Vaccine irrespective of their immunization status starting from 8am-2pm daily at all Primary Health Centres (PHCs).
He explained that Poliomyelitis, popularly called Polio, is a highly infectious viral disease which mostly affects children with symptoms such as fever, tiredness, headache, nausea, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs. In some cases according to him, it could lead to paralysis which most of the time is irreversible.
Dr Onanuga stated further that Polio is one of the vaccine-preventable diseases with no known cure, adding that children under the age of 5 are the most vulnerable as the disease suddenly strikes and paralyzes them for life.
According to World Health Organisation, among those paralysed, 5% to 10% die when their breathing muscles become immobilized.
The Special Adviser, therefore, urged all stakeholders including parents, political and religious leaders, civil society organizations and the media to play a role in ensuring that children under five years are immunized at the PHCs free of charge to reduce the risk of death and disability from the disease.
“Immunization remains the most cost-effective and efficient child survival strategy for children who are the future of our state. This informed our unrelenting efforts in protecting our children from the vaccine-preventable killer diseases. It is free and safe,” he remarked.
Dr Onanuga further stated that the first round of the Campaign which was held between 25th-28th March targeting about 4.9 million children was a success because all stakeholders were passionate about its success.
He added that measures have also been put in place to record an improvement over the last program as according to him, all vaccinators throughout the State have been adequately prepared for the exercise.
“The vaccinators will move from house to house, visit schools, religious houses, venues of social events as well as other public places to ensure that all eligible children are vaccinated,” he said
He assured that the Mr Akinwunmi Ambode administration will not renege on its promise to deliver qualitative healthcare to the citizenry regardless of age, gender or political affiliation.
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