Tension As Fresh Polio Outbreak Hits Nigeria

Following the confirmation of a fresh polio outbreak in Jigawa, Katsina and Yobe States, the Kano State Government, on Monday, flagged off fresh rounds of polio immunization exercise in nine local government areas that share borders with the affected states.

In the affected local government areas, immunization exercise is being conducted between September 1 and 4, 2018. The second round would hold between September 22 and 25 and it would take place in local government areas sharing border with Jigawa State to prevent possible importation of the virus to Kano.

This is just as Journalists Against Polio, took the fight for the total eradication of polio in the entire state to the grassroots of Makoda, Dambatta, Ajingi, sensitizing the communities on measures to keep polio at bay.

During JAP’s visit to Makoda, about 30 kilometres away from the metropolis, the State Health Commissioner, Dr Kabiru Ibrahim Getso, who was also in Mokoda, briefed Primary Healthcare officials, underscoring the necessity for them to encourage parents to make available their kids for polio vaccination, following the fresh outbreak of the virus in the neighbouring states.
Briefing newsmen shortly after the visit to the nine Local Government areas on the September 2018 Outbreak Response, the Health Commissioner, confirmed the outbreak of polio in some neighbouring states. He also said that said the immunization exercise is in line, with the guidelines of the Expert Review Committee in Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization.

According to Getso, the immunization exercise stipulates the conduct of mop-up OBR campaigns, adding that whenever there is an outbreak of circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus, the current exercise is conducted.

Getso listed the participating LGAs to include Ajingi, Albasu, Dambatta, Gaya, Gabasawa Makoda, Minjibir, Kunchi, and Takai, which he said, shared borders with Jigawa State.

”As you are all aware, Polio Eradication Initiative, has come a long way in Kano State and indeed Nigeria, with the interruption of Polio Virus transmission and our match toward total eradication.”

”This success was achieved through concerted efforts by the Kano State Government under the leadership of the Executive Governor of Kano State, Dr Abdullahi Uumar Ganduje and the support of the Federal Government, Development partners, as well as traditional institutions.”

Similarly, Dr Getso, noted, that for the past 49 months, the state had not recorded a single case of Wild Polio Virus, pointing out that the commitment and efforts in strengthening routine immunization over the past three years has been yielding results.

Furthermore, the Health Commissioner also used the occasion to once again highlight the need to control cholera outbreak in the state, which he pointed out depends not only on government but also on other key stakeholders, such as the civil society organizations, media, community-based organizations, communities families and individuals.

To this end, Getso emphasized the need to always drink and use safe water, adding that if water source is doubtful,  it should be treated, by either boiling or treating it with chlorine product.

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