Anambra to vaccinate over 1.16 million children against polio

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The Anambra State Government says it will vaccinate 1,165, 024 children in the state against polio during the April 2018 First Round, National Immunization-Plus Days Campaign, commencing on April 21.

The state Commissioner for Health, Joe Akabuike, disclosed this at a news conference on Thursday in Awka, the state capital ahead the commencement of polio campaign.

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Mr Akabuike said that state was also targeting 233, 005 of children under one year during the four-day exercise that would last till April 24.

The commissioner, represented by Chioma Ezenyimulu, Executive Secretary, Anambra Primary Healthcare Development Agency, urged parents and caregivers to endeavour to bring out their children and wards for the immunisation.

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He expressed worries over noncompliance with similar call on parents during the measles vaccination in the state in 2017, and urged them to heed to the appeal this time round.

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“The last measles vaccination campaign in the state in 2017 witnessed sporadic noncompliance and rejection in some Local Government Areas, especially in mission and private schools.

“The state is therefore calling on parents, caregivers, proprietors, head teachers and administrators of schools to present their children for immunisation.

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“This is because it is their right and a must for health growth’’, she said.

Mr Akabuki said that the overall goal of the exercise was to interrupt the circulation of and ensure eradication of wild polio virus in the state.

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He however added that the state had recorded impressive results in polio campaigns in the past.

“The results of 2017 first and second rounds of NIPDs showed that Anambra targeted 1,133, 291 children during the March, 2017 exercise, but immunised 1,327, 529 (117 per cent).

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“In April, 2017 the target was 1, 133, 291, but we recorded 1, 630,607 representing 144 per cent”, she said.

The commissioner maintained that the polio vaccination which would begin at Abagana, Njikoka Local Government Area of the state, was safe and potent.

He said that the health workers would move from house to house, school to school and church to church to administer oral polio vaccination on children aged zero to 59 months.

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On the current nationwide strike by members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), the commissioner said that the industrial action would not affect the polio campaign.

He said that duly accredited and properly kitted health workers would be involved in the campaign and urged the public to ensure the success of the exercise.

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Chinwe Oraizu, the Anambra State Chairman of Medical and Health Workers Union, said health workers in the state and the local government areas were not involved in the strike.

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