The Enugu state Government says it is targeting a total of 1,014,953 children for vaccination against the wild polio virus, to stop a possible resurgence of the disease in the state.
The target population of children aged zero to five years, represented 20 per cent of the total population of the state.
Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary, Enugu state Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), told newsmen in Enugu, on Thursday, that the exercise was “a National outbreak preventive response”.
Ugwu said that the exercise had already kicked off on Oct. 6 and would end on Oct. 10 in the state, adding that a few additional days may be introduced to mop-up, if the need arises.
He said that the state had received 1,306,700 doses of the new oral polio vaccine from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and its health partners, for the exercise.
According to him, Enugu state was free of any case of wild polio, but the plan was to emphasise on prevention and checking possible resurgence of polio in the state.
The ENS-PHCDA boss said that the agency had trained and kitted 2,834 vaccinating teams, which comprises: 1,643 home-to-home teams, 780 special teams and 411 fixed teams.
He said that the exercise would reach all nooks and crannies of the state, meaning it would cover the state’s 17 council areas, 291 wards and over 3,000 settlements.
Ugwu said: “The vaccinators have been mandated to look for every child and ensure no child is left out. We are going to homes, schools, churches, malls, parks, markets, farms as well as all living areas, where a child can be found.”
“We have mobilised our ward and council information volunteers and mobilisation officers, as well as written to religious, traditional and community leaders, about the exercise and need for them to totally key in.”
“Today, we are mobilising the press for their support to enlighten our people to take the vaccination seriously and ensure that wild polio does not come to cripple any child in the state and the country in general.”
“We are appealing to parents, teachers, caregivers and family members to support this exercise and ensure no child, known to them or close to them, is left out of taking the new oral polio vaccine”.
The ENS-PHCDA boss lauded Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi for supporting the agency for the exercise, and mobilising both professionals and logistics, to ensure the huge success of the exercise.
“Our health-loving governor, His Excellency, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, has supported the agency in the exercise to ensure that no child is left out in the state, notwithstanding the remoteness of where such a child is found,” he said.
Our correspondent reports that the new oral polio vaccination is taking place nationwide simultaneously in the 36 states and the FCT.