Kano state government in northwestern Nigeria has established 44 new Routine Immunization Coordination Centers across all the local government areas to step up the campaign of eradicating polio disease and help the country achieve its target of being declared polio free next year.
Permanent Secretary of the Kano state Ministry of Health, Usman Bala Muhammad at a media briefing to mark the 2019 World Polio Day said the Local Government Routine Immunization Coordination Centre (LERICC) in all the 44 Local Government Areas were designed to enhance the conscious steps being taken to eradicate the disease in the state as the nation works towards attaining free polio status.
“The sustained effort against poliomyelitis by the state government has made the state to record 63 months of polio free status,” he said.
It is on record that Nigeria on August 21, 2019 recorded three years consecutive polio free status and if sustained will be declared free of the disease next year, as the country remains the only African country to attain the polio free status.
He said the governor Ganduje led administration has also procured and installed (two) 40 Cubic-metre walk-in cold rooms for the state Cold Store, including construction of a new store for the walk-in cold rooms.
Other efforts he said include, “installation of new Solar Direct Drives Refrigerators at the Ward level; sustaining in-sourced delivery of vaccines to the last mile; developed Reaching Every Ward (REW) micro-plan by all health facilities providing Routine Immunization (RI) services.
“Conduct of reconciliation meeting between Ward Heads and service providers on monthly basis at Village Heads’ house; conduct of daily RI session in 95 percent of secondary Health Facilities in the state; conduct of quality Immunization Plus Days (IDPs), Supplementary Immunization Plus Days (SIPDs), National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs) and Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs) among other activities” he added
The Permanent Secretary appreciated the commitment of the vaccination teams, who sometimes risk their lives, by going house-to-house in some of the most volatile terrains and places, working along with traditional leaders to deliver this oral vaccine to the children.
“The LGA team, our taskforce members and Voluntary Community Mobilizers (VCM) are integral part of our success as they are on the front line of this crusade, for which we have almost reach an end but still requiring more efforts to take it to logical conclusion.” he commended.
He commended the contribution of developmental partners such as WHO, UNICEF, CDC-NSTOP, Rotary International, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), MNCH2, Dangote Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation among others.
Dr Ogwu of the UNICEF urged all hands to be on deck to ensure a polio free status for Nigeria soonest, stressing that “the campaign needed to be intensified at urban and rural markets, religious centers, schools, villages and hamlets.”
A marathon walk was held to mark the day, including the presentation of 250 Public Address System by UNICEF to Kano state Ministry of Health to enable it intensify its polio vaccination and other diseases campaign.