20 November 2012

Nigeria: Polio - Bauchi Threatens Health Workers

Chairman of Bauchi State Social Mobilisation Committee on Polio Eradication and Emir of Dass, Alhaji Othman Bilyaminu, has warned that the state government will not hesitate to sanction any health worker, who fails to carry out his or her official responsibilities during the polio immunisation campaign in the state.

The monarch, who gave the warning at the weekend, during the commencement of the eighth round of polio immunisation plus days in Ningi local government area of the state, suggested that the immunisation exercise on polio eradication should be a continuous process as the state was yet to achieve the targeted number of children to be immunised.

According to him, "From the beginning of the year, there were still some areas in the state where we recorded one or two cases of polio. This was as a result of non-compliance by some communities in the state. So, we decided to commence an intensive and continuous exercise of the polio campaign so that polio can be totally wiped out from the state. It is only through this approach that we can kick polio completely from the state."

He expressed optimism that the state can achieve hundred percent polio eradication in the state, adding that the fight against the polio scourge required a collective effort by all.

While urging communities in the state to cultivate personal hygiene in their daily activities, the monarch called on traditional rulers in the state to ensure a cordial relationship with the people of their various communities, saying as custodians of culture in the state, their efforts during the immunisation exercise will go a long way to ensure compliance by the people.

Speaking in the same vein, the state Governor, Malam Isa Yuguda, said the state was working hard to eradicate the scourge of polio from the state, hence the need for all hands to be on deck to ensure that the state achieved its target in polio eradication.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Alhaji Sagir Aminu Saleh, stressed the need for parents and guardians to cooperate with the health workers during the exercise and warned that failure to do so will attract punitive measures by the state government.

"The state government has taken some stringent measures in regards to the on-going immunisation exercise. We have authorised health workers to report any household that refuses to cooperate with health workers. In case the father of a household is not around during the exercise, he should ensure that he leaves instructions to his wife to bring all his children out to be immunised, therefore we will not tolerate any form of excuse," Yuguda said.

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