FCTA begins 2023 integrated polio immunisation
The Federal Capital Territory Administration on Saturday began the 2023 integrated national immunisation plus tagged “Maternal newborn and child health week’’ to fight against diseases in FCT.
The Acting Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board, Dr Yakubu Mohammed, said that children between the ages of 0-59 months and pregnant and breastfeeding mothers were targets of the exercise.
He said that the one-week-long immunisation would be on polio, measles, deworming, vitamin A supplementation and maternal/newborn services, calling on mothers to avail their children of the exercise.
The secretary said that the board would continue to carry out the annual exercise, not minding the certification of the country as free from polio by the World Health Organisation in August 2020.
He said that the national immunisation plus was currently ongoing in 33 states, adding that FCTA intervention in the exercise had been ongoing since the 1990s.
“Nigeria was certified free of the polio virus in August 2020.
However, in order to brace up for the transmission of various diseases and maintain the zero acceptance of the wild poliovirus certified by the WHO, we need to continue with immunisation to maintain the tempo.
“We will continue to reach out to our target population, children between the ages of 0 and 59 months, with the oral polio vaccine and others; this has become more necessary because the infection has various variants.
“We don’t want to be like some African countries that had been certified wide polio virus-free countries but are now coming out with the outbreak of the virus again; countries like Mozambique and Malawi are examples of these countries.
“This situation informed the decision of the national programme, which is being coordinated by the National Primary Health Care Agency under the Federal Ministry of Health. It is based on the analysis of the expert review committee to ensure that the tempo of a free polio country is maintained while not taking chances.
“We will not reverse the gains of the free polio declaration country, hence the need why we have to conduct this free polio immunisation plus exercise,” he said.
Mr Mohammed called on mothers to make their children available for the exercise and the media to help champion its awareness.
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