The Enugu State Government says it is targeting 20 per cent of its entire population, representing 1,014,953 children under five years, for vaccination against wild poliovirus.
Dr George Ugwu, Executive Secretary of Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA), disclosed this in Enugu during a sensitisation meeting with key stakeholders and partners on the forthcoming statewide mass polio vaccination.
The exercise would kick-off on Thursday, November 18 and end on November 21.
Ugwu noted that Enugu State does not have any case of wild polio but the exercise was to ensure no resurgence or suspected case
According to him, the exercise is intended to emphasize prevention and total elimination of polio in the state forever.
The ENS-PHCDA boss revealed that the agency had trained and kitted 2,834 vaccinating teams, which comprises 1,643 home-to-home teams, 780 special teams and 411 fixed teams.
“The exercise will reach all nooks and crannies of the state, covering our 17 council areas, 291 wards and over 3,000 settlements.
“The vaccinators have been mandated to look for every child and ensure no child is left out.
“We are going to homes, schools, churches, malls, parks, markets, farms as well as all living areas, where a child can be found.
“We are appealing to parents, teachers, caregivers and family members to support this exercise and ensure no child known to them is left out of taking the oral polio vaccine,” he added.
The Chief Imam of Nsukka Central Mosque, Alhaji Yakubu Omeh, assured the state government of the Muslim faithful commitment to ensure that all children under five found in all mosques and Islamic schools are vaccinated against polio.
“Education is key, and today you have enlightened us more on why polio must be totally eliminated.
“I am giving you my commitment and that of the Muslim faithful in the Nsukka axis that all children under five in all our religious facilities and schools will surely be vaccinated,” Omeh assured.
Lily Okechukwu, Vice-Chairman, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), Enugu State, said the association would fully mobilise all the private schools and inform parents on the exercise to ensure full compliance.
“The association is assuring the agency of maximum cooperation in order to get our entire children protected from the dreaded polio disease in the state,” Okechukwu said.
Ven. Jonathan Agbo, the Secretary-General of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), South-East, also said the association would ensure through all its communication platforms that churches in the state comply with the vaccination.
Other stakeholders at the meeting included local and international health partners, representatives of state ministries of education, health, gender affairs and planning as well as various ethnic communities in the state, traditional rulers and town union executives among others.