Enugu State Government says it has deployed no fewer than 2,000 well-trained vaccination teams for the ongoing statewide May Mass Polio Vaccination meant for children between 0 and five years.
Dr George Ugwu, the Executive Secretary of Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this while flagging off the vaccination at St Luke’s Anglican Church Premises in Ogui axis of Enugu on Sunday.
Ugwu said that the state is targeting a total of 1.3 million children in the 291 health wards within the 17 Local Government Areas in the state from Saturday, May 14, to Tuesday, May 17, 2022.
According to him, “we appreciate our health-loving governor, Chief Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, for supporting and funding this massive statewide campaign against polio and for ensuring that all children under five years are protected.
“We are grateful to our health partners for their enormous support and our amiable governor for giving us the moral and financial push to be up to date in all our vaccination programmes and other services offered by the ENS-PHCDA.
“The 2,000 well-trained and authorised health teams will visit homes, schools, churches, market places and everywhere children under 5 years are found to administer two drops of oral polio vaccine into their mouths.
Ugwu further explained that the four-day exercise might be extended, adding “there might likely be a mop up of extra two days for neighbourhoods or areas with peculiar terrains”.
The executive secretary said that the vaccines are free, safe and effective, noting that “the vaccine protects children from poliomyelitis infection, which paralyses or kills such infected children”.
In a goodwill message, Dr. Ngozi Nwosu, Deputy National Incident Manager of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), urged mothers and caregivers in the state to ensure “no child is left out in the vaccination”.
“Please, mothers and caregivers as you go home spread the good news of the vaccination and its benefits to your neighbours and help to ensure that no child is left out to have full immunity against poliomyelitis infection.
“What we are doing is to ensure that there would be no resurgence of polio in the country even as we have kicked out, it will be kicked out forever,” Nwosu said.
The acting State Coordinator of World Health Organisation (WHO), Mrs Joy Anorue, commended the state government and its ENS-PHCDA officials for promoting the culture of preventive healthcare by fully participating and carrying out special and routine vaccinations.
“We want our women and mothers to cooperate with vaccination teams and help them to spot any child that have skipped vaccination before now,” Anorue said.
Earlier, Rev. Thankgod Ogbui, who represented Ven. J. C. Agbo, the Vicar-in-Charge of St Luke’s Anglican Church, Ogui-Nike, lauded the state government for investing massively in the healthcare of the residents and strengthening services at the Primary Healthcare Centres.
“We want mothers and caregivers to take this exercise seriously. As I am speaking, I have my wife here and kids under five to get vaccinated.
“This shows the seriousness we attach to vaccination apart from the regular announcement and enlightenment we do at the pulpit on the benefits of vaccination to children,” he said.