The Anambra State government has set a target of vaccinating over 2.6 million children aged between 0-59 months as it launches an outbreak response exercise against the polio virus in the state.
At the flag-off of the vaccination campaign in Awka, Afam Obidike, the Commissioner for Health, emphasized the importance of this initiative. The campaign is being implemented by the Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA) in collaboration with the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Recently, the Enugu State Primary Health Development Agency discovered a circulating variant of polio virus type-2 in a baby in the Nkanu West Local Government Area of the state. In response, Mr. Obidike stated, “We are responding to the outbreak of polio virus in a neighboring town, Nkanu West, in Enugu State. We have not recorded any case in Anambra, but the natural thing to do is to increase our vaccination to prevent the spread to the state.”
As part of the efforts, Mr. Obidike urged parents and guardians to ensure their children receive the polio immunization. He further mentioned that 660 fixed posts have been established across the state, with the aim of reaching and vaccinating approximately 2.64 million children, thus reducing the risk of polio spread.
Adamu Abdul-Nasir, the state coordinator for WHO, commended the Anambra State government for its political will and proactive measures in preventing the polio virus from spreading within the state.
Chisom Uchem, the executive secretary of ASPHCDA, announced that the vaccination campaign will span from September 16 to September 19, covering all local government areas of the state. Uchem also emphasized the extensive outreach efforts that will be undertaken, including visits to churches, mosques, schools, and all corners of the state to locate and vaccinate children.