26 October 2017

Nigeria: Vaccination Scare Can Hamper Fight Against Polio, Warns Rotary

Awka — Rotary Club International has expressed fear that the recent vaccination scare in parts of the country was capable of affecting the achievements already registered by the club in the fight for the eradication of polio in Nigeria.

The chairman, Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee, Dr Tunji Funsho, expressed the fear while addressing journalists in a pre-World Polio Day press conference in Awka.

He said the recent scares were capable of hindering the successful phasing out of polio in the country, especially as the recent rumour of the killer vaccination occurred while the group was carrying out house to house vaccination on children in the north.

Funsho said there was need to properly educate the public as anything short of it may lead to the return of polio. He said rotary was not a religious or ethnic group, but consist of people who have strong passion for the health of children.

He expressed happiness that for 14 months, there has been no case of polio in Nigeria, while also assuring that the Oral polio vaccine was safe, efficient and easy to administer, and that mothers should ignore the rumour of killer vaccinations.

"We are making efforts to reach every child, but we know they may be children somewhere we are missing, but we are working to ensure we reach all.

"It is costing us man hour, human and material resources to do so. If we are able to permanently eradicate polio, we will be saving between $40 to $50billion by 2030, and these money can be channeled into other health challenges like malaria. So mothers should comply by letting their children be vaccinated."

THISDAY gathered that the four districts in Nigeria had chose District 9142, comprising of five states of the south east and Cross River and Akwa Ibom as host for this year's World Polio Day which holds in Awka today(Tuesday).

Dr Emma Ude-Akpeh, the governor of District 9142 who also spoke at the conference said it was a thing of joy that his district has for years not registered any case of polio, yet it had remained tenacious in its involvement activities such as monitoring, routine immunization and others.


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