By Bankole Taiwo, Abeokuta
Ogun State Government has explained that it is conscious of the fact that a well-nourished child will do well and be immune to diseases, hence the need to supplement the ongoing Outbreak Response vaccination with the administration of vitamin A to children of 6-59 months.
The Commissioner for Health, Dr. Tomi Coker disclosed this during a monitoring exercise of the 2nd round Polio Outbreak Response (OBR) immunisation which kicked off in Abeokuta, the state capital.
Dr. Coker noted that although Nigeria had been certified free from the Wild Polio Virus in 2020, there were reported cases of vaccine-derived poliovirus variant in some parts of the country, hence the need to boost the immunity of Ogun children against the disease.
“In order to improve and increase our coverage, the Ogun government through the State Primary Health Care Development Board in collaboration with the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), with support from development partners- World Health Organisation (WHO), and Rotary International, recommend that children 0-5 years should receive two drops of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) for two rounds, irrespective of their previous immunisation status.”
She added that the vaccination teams who have been adequately trained to administer the vaccine and supplement will be visiting all households, schools, churches, mosques, markets, and other places.
Also speaking, the Executive Secretary, Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Elijah Ogunsola said that the present administration remains committed to the safety of residents especially children as it continues to make provision of vaccines, urging parents, guardians, community, and religious leaders to ensure that all eligible children were vaccinated during the campaign.
On their part representative of Rotary International, Dr. Festus Adetomiwa, and the Southwest Zonal Coordinator, WHO, Dr. Olufumilola Kolude, said that the vaccines are safe and effective in protecting children against diseases, reiterating that their organizations remain committed to supporting Ogun Government in all its healthcare programs aimed at ensuring the wellbeing of residents, especially children.
In their separate remarks, Mrs. Cordelia Eze and Sikrat Akorede appreciated government’s efforts at ensuring that children were healthy and protected against preventable diseases, promising to inform other parents and caregivers in their communities to seize the opportunity and get their children and wards vaccinated with the OPV and vitamin A supplement.