12 February 2012

Nigeria: Fashola, Amosun Boost Polio Awareness Campaign

Lagos and Ogun States Saturday jointly observed the Polio Awareness Day Programme with governors of the two states, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, respectively, in attendance.

The governors stated that with collaboration, the South West could overcome any threat posed to the region's strength, health, and human capacity by polio.

Fashola and Amosun, who spoke at the border community of Akinde -Ologogoro in Ojokoro Local Council Development Area of Lagos State and Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State, said all children of immunisation age must be exposed to the five doses of immunisation.

The Lagos State governor emphasised that the collaboration craved by many in the old Western Region had started from the immunisation awareness programme.

He explained that the joint polio awareness day programme was about a border relationship between the two states, adding that the good and great times are back again in the South West.

Fashola described the joint polio awareness sensitisation as collaboration on preventive healthcare. He said it was regrettable that Nigeria was one of the four countries where the wild polio was still present.

The governor advised parents and guardians to ensure that they expose their children to the five doses of wild polio immunisation from the age of six weeks, through 10 weeks, 14 weeks and nine months.

Responding to questions raised by members of the public at an interactive session, Fashola said erratic electricity supply could not hinder the administration of immunisation because it was always dispensed from solar-powered cold chain coolers.

He added that given the ingenuity of people, which makes it possible to ice drinks for use at parties, keeping the immunisation therapy at the ideal temperature could be achieved irrespective of irregular power supply.

Also speaking, Amosun said the polio awareness programme demonstrated the fact that there is no limit to what can be achieved when resources are combined for a common purpose.

He stated that the fight against polio was a collective one, which should not be left to government alone.

Amosun advised community leaders to ensure the success of the campaign in their respective communities.

In a message of goodwill, Professor Bayo Parakoyi, who represented the World Health Organisation, commended Lagos and Ogun States for collaborating to keep polio out of the country. He extended the appreciation of WHO to the states for rehabilitating several primary health care centres, saying it is a further demonstration of their commitment to the fight against polio.

Parakoyi reaffirmed WHO's commitment and technical support to the battle to end the scourge of wild polio in Nigeria and donated two motorcycles to the states as part of the support tools to all the local government areas in the country to boost advocacy on immunisation.

In his message of goodwill, the representative of Rotary International, Mr. Kayode Soyinka, said N1.2 billion had been spent on the polio campaign in Nigeria by the organisation. He charged the governors to lead the campaign from the front towards ensuring that everyone embraced the culture of immunisation to eradicate the polio from Nigeria.

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