Friday, May 29, 2009

Immunization effort against Polio begins in Nigeria tomorrow

The government of Nigeria will begin a new immunization program to help eradicate polio in the country.

Last time a similar effort was made, the government could only reach 60 percent of the children with the shot. They hope to reach at least 90 percent this time.

From the Guardian of Nigeria, writer Chukwuma Muanya offers more details on the immunization project.

Fresh efforts to reach the un-immunised Nigerian child with Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) begin tomorrow in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The Federal Government and its development partners plan to use the immunisation campaign to deliver a broad range of child survival interventions in the race against the reduction of under-five mortality rate in the country.

Nigeria and the rest of the world are expected to meet the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 of reducing significantly child and maternal deaths by 2015.

The MDGs were developed out of the eight chapters of the United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in September 2000.

Already, Federal Government has deployed 57 million doses of trivalent OPV (OPV-3) for the four day campaign. The vaccines are target at the three type of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV), that WPV-1, WPV-2 and WPV-3 whch are said to be prevalent in the country.. The government plans to administer the vaccines using 180,000 health workers, 140,000 vaccinators, 3,400 supervisors in 33,000 posts. She also plans sub-national campaigns for July, August and October 2009.

The government has also adopted new strategies which include: engagement of political and religious leadership, and civil societies; publishing the coverage, successes and failures of States; revision of guidelines for the conduct of immunisation campaign; and creation of special teams to capture children on the street.

Latest figures on polio eradication in Nigeria from the FMOH, indicate that the progress with immunisation activities reported during the first quarter of 2009 has not been uniform in all states and local councils.

According to government sources about 19 per cent of all local councils failed to achieve the target of 90 per cent coverage during the last campaign held in March 2009.

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