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May 29, 2024
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Polio: Gombe govt targets one million children for vaccination. 

No fewer than one million Under-5 children are targeted to be vaccinated against polio in Gombe State as Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya commenced the exercise.

The Governor flagged off the campaign on Friday at Talasse, headquarters of Balanga LGA in a symbolic exercise marking the beginning of a crucial health campaign of Polio vaccination drive across the state.

While performing the flagging off, the Governor emphasised the importance of vaccination in eradicating Polio and safeguarding the health of children under 5 years.

Inuwa Yahaya who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Manassah Daniel Jatau underscored the collective responsibility to ensure every child received the Polio vaccine, reiterating the government’s commitment to reaching even the most remote areas to administer the vaccine.

He said that the ceremony served as a rallying call for communities to actively participate in the vaccination campaign, reinforcing the message that immunization is the most effective tool in preventing the spread of Polio.

He further said that it was unacceptable for the local government to make the state come last in the last months’ coverage and warned the officials responsible to sit up and improve their performance.

As part of the comprehensive vaccination strategy, health workers will conduct door-to-door visits, set up vaccination booths in public places, and leverage social media and community networks to raise awareness about the importance of vaccination.

The Governor urged parents and caregivers to bring their children forward for vaccination and assured that the government is fully equipped to provide safe and accessible immunization services throughout the state.

According to him, “Polio is the infectious and debilitating disease caused by a Virus and it usually affects children particularly those from zero to five years. While the bad news about it is that it has no cure, the very good news is that it is preventable through the use of Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) administered to children.

“This vaccine has undergone several quality checks over and over again and it has proven to be safe, effective and even painless. Furthermore, it has no side effects.

“Basically, the goal of OBR is to vaccinate children who are either not immunized or only partially protected from the polio virus and to boost the immunity of those who have been immunized. This is to ensure all eligible children in the most susceptible age group are protected against the Polio virus.

“It will interest you to note that Gombe State under my administration has put healthcare delivery as a top priority which resulted in significant progress in the fight against Polio.

“As an administration, we have continued to revitalise and strengthen the PHCs in the state, bringing primary health care services closer to our people where they live and work in the state. Among other programmes. GO HEALTH was introduced and it was highly accepted.

“This has facilitated easy access to healthcare services for vulnerable people, which is crucial in the fight against polio and other diseases. Governor Yahaya’s commitment to improving healthcare in Gombe State has been instrumental in the success of OBR and routine immunization programmes.

“Despite the giant strides in the area of health, we cannot afford to be relaxed, we must continue to work together, more, and harder and faster and faster to ensure that every child in Gombe State is protected against polio. I wish to emphasize the need for us as a people to have a wider coverage of immunized children with the hope of developing herd immunity against the wild polio virus.

“We must work together to ensure that every child in Gombe State is vaccinated during the campaign. We must also continue to educate parents and caregivers about the importance of routine immunization and the benefits of OBR.

“As usual with the ‘System Theory’ approach, this administration makes sure that all relevant stakeholders are brought on board for the attainment of our goal(s). We must learn, accept, support and partner with the stakeholders to sustain the attainment of our goal.

“We must stop unreasonable statements that “kawuni”, “kishiyoyi”, “aljannu”, “iska”, “mayu”and others are the causes of illness and diseases. Such beliefs affect the rate of patronage of the health facilities provided by the state.”

He appreciated the state field workers, community, religious, educational, business leaders and members of the Task Force on Immunization and of course, the mass media as well as others who supported all the actors to ensure that no failure is encountered deserves another appreciation.

The Governor concluded “Your collective, tireless efforts, support and sacrifices in the fight against Polio are sincerely appreciated. Together, we can achieve our goal of a Polio-free Nigeria.”

In his remarks, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Habu Dahiru explained that the event was to flag off the outbreak response to Polio after having had a failure in the last vaccine coverage.

He said that the administration has made available 1,040,000 doses of the vaccine for the vaccination, targeting 985,605 under-five children across the eleven Local Governments of the state.

Dahiru appreciated the Governor, his deputy, traditional and religious leaders, and all those who contributed to the success of the programme.

The Bala Waja, Muhammad Danjuma Muhammad, who spoke on behalf of himself and the Mai Kaltungo, appreciated the state government’s quick response to health and other issues calling on the people to support all the programmes for the interest of all.

He assured of their continued support to the government by ensuring that their subjects bring their wards for vaccination towards correcting the problems associated with last month’s poor coverage in the state.

Also speaking on behalf of other development partners, the representative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and its regional Coordinator, Dr Jalal Saleh commended the state government’s efforts in ensuring the provision of quality health care to the people and assured of their continued support to the state.

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