Osun State targets over one million children for vaccination against Polio
Osogbo, 25 October, 2021 - As a health worker and Local Immunization Officer in Ilesha West Local Government Area (LGA), Osun State, Mrs Toyin Ajewole has seen first-hand effects of a child not being vaccinated.
To stop the outbreak of the circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus(cVDPV2), she has been using her position to educate parents on the importance of presenting their children for vaccination. With the ongoing second Round of the Polio Outbreak Response (OBR2) immunization in the state, Mrs Ajewole is one of the vaccinators who would go from house to house to vaccinate eligible children in her locality.
“When I notice that some community members are unsure about allowing their children to receive the vaccine, I usually tell them that the novel Oral Poliovirus Vaccine type 2 (nOPV2) is safe and without side effects. My LGA had the highest number of missed children in the last campaign. As such, the World Health Organization supports my LGA with 19 extra teams to cover densely populated areas and market.
“Taking it (nOPV) will boost the immunity of our children and make them strong and live longer. It will protect them from paralyses, she said.
Although Nigeria has successfully eradicated the wild poliovirus, 18 states in Nigeria recorded cVDPV2 in 18 states. As of 08 October 2021, 447 cVDPV2 were reported in the country. The number of viruses is from acute flaccid paralysis (197), contacts (170) and Environmental Surveillance (80). The cVDPV2 have infected 23 states/142 LGAs, majorly in the North West (253 viruses) and North East (155 viruses) and least in South West (2 viruses).
To curtail the spread of cVDPV2 outbreak to Osun State, the World Health Organization (WHO), supported the state government to plan and conduct mass vaccination exercises with the novel Oral Polio vaccine type 2 (nOPV2). A total of 1 311 154 children aged 0-59 months, representing more 100% of the targeted children in Osun State, were vaccinated as at the end of the campaign (21 October 2021).
Meanwhile, OBR, using nOPV2 is being conducted in states across the country.
The first round of the OBR in Osun held in September 2021. The second round is to further boost the immunity of the children and to reach those who were missed or are new arrivals in the state.
In Osun State, the Governor Mr Adegboyega Oyetola, at the flag-off ceremony of OBR2 campaign in state capital Osogbo on 18 October 2021, said the event is a booster to the development plan, which encompasses quality and equitable healthcare delivery in all its ramifications.
Buttressing the importance of the campaign, he said the vaccination is crucial as the government is not relenting on its efforts in preventing cVDPV2 from spreading to Osun state.
Calling attention to some of the government's achievements in the health sector, he said "the exercise is proactively designed to produce an army of healthy children who will inherit and sustain our Development Agenda and be the face of the Osun of our dream.
Appreciating WHO and partners for the support and assuring that the state government would not relent to provide health security for its citizens, he appealed to mothers not to be afraid of the exercise.
I urge mothers to visit the health centres with their eligible children to get vaccinated, he said.
The six-day vaccination would be for children within the age range of 0-59 months.
One of the mothers who presented her child for vaccination at the event, Ms Rukaiyat Ishaq, expressed her gratitude to the government, the WHO and other partners for implementing vaccination campaigns to keep their children healthy.
“I feel delighted that my child has received the vaccination against polio disease. I will inform others to allow their children to get vaccinated too”, she said
Meanwhile, WHO State Coordinator, Dr Bello Ahmed pledged WHO's continued support towards achieving health security in the state. He said WHO supported with additional 195 extra vaccination teams (to the existing 1571 house-to-house teams), supportive supervision and funds for the second OBR campaign to ensure that all eligible children are immunized.
“The next step is to ensure all households in the state are visited and all eligible children are immunized with 2 potent drops of nOPV”, he said
Dr Boateng Koffi; Email: boatengko [at] who.int; Tel: +234 706 449 1772
Dr Bello Ahmed; Email: belloah [at] who.int; Tel: +234 803 6665 696