As the fight against polio in Nigeria continues. Over 28.8 million children have been vaccinated as against the 31.54 million children targeted for the first and second rounds responses against the polio outbreak in the eastern and western parts of northern Nigeria. The second outbreak response to stamp out polio, which was aimed at 18 northern states, had the children immunized around 17th to 20th of September, 2016, the Federal Government has said.
Briefing Newsmen in Abuja, the Acting Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Emmanuel Odu said a total of 38.4 million doses were released to immunize the over 31 million children targeted for the rounds. He also added that not less than 1.9 million doses of the Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) were sourced from within the country and deployed for use in Borno State for quick optimum levels of population immunity.
Odu further explained that while the third, fourth and fifth rounds are still underway; other humanitarian service delivery organisations have formed pact with the federal government to immunize children in various Internally Displaced Persons’ camps, across Borno state. He also noted that the Nigerian Armed Forces had constantly given its support by providing protection for health workers, including making its field medical team available to immunize children in the crisis torn areas.
The Acting E.S who commended world health bodies and other stakeholders for coming to the aid of the Nigerian Government finally urged Borno and other affected states to increase their investment in routine immunization. Nigeria was near being declared polio free after two years of Polio eradication until in July 6, 2016, when its expected achievement was truncated.
This was when a female toddler of 55 months, was discovered to have been paralyzed by the disease while two more cases followed shortly- all within the crisis torn areas of Borno state.