The Federal Government on Thursday said it is committed to eradicating the vaccine-derived polio virus type 2 from circulation by 2023.
The FG also said that 96% of Local Government Areas in the country have achieved 100% response to the vaccine-derived outbreak of Circulating Polio Virus Type 2.
The Chief Executive Officer and Director General of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, said this at the Review Meeting of the Northern Traditional Chiefs Commission on Primary Health Care Development Delivery in Abuja.
PUNCH reports that if a population is severely immunized, there are enough children to start circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus in the community. If the vaccine virus is able to circulate uninterrupted for a long time, it can mutate and, for 12-18 months, regain neurovirulence. These viruses are called circulating vaccine-derived polioviruses.
The lower the immunity of the population, the longer these viruses will survive. The longer they survive, the more they replicate, change and exchange genetic material with other enteroviruses as they spread in a community.
However, if a population is fully immunized against poliomyelitis, it will be protected from the spread of wild-type and vaccine strains of poliovirus.
While lauding the significant contributions made by the Northern Traditional Leaders in polio eradication, Dr. Shuaib said, “We could not have eradicated WPV without the Northern Traditional Leaders Polio Eradication Committee.
“We are making progress, but the progress we need to make this year is important because we need to reduce the number of cVDPV2 from over 90 percent to zero. The goal for 2023 is not to reduce further, but to reach zero. We know that no matter where the message is going to resonate, it needs to be in this room, because you are the people who will make it happen.
“For the first time in the history of polio eradication efforts around cVDPV2, 96 percent of LGAs were actually able to score 100 percent in terms of the children we were able to reach. This has never happened before, especially given the number of LGAs and the insecurity challenges we’ve seen in some of these areas if they
“Although it’s the first time we’ve seen this kind of coverage, we don’t want to be the last but we want it to be the standard, every time we go out on a campaign, there shouldn’t be any children. it was lost and that’s what you did and we got rid of WPV. cVDPV2 is no different and that is the level of commitment required of us to finish the job.’
He said routine immunization campaigns will be intensified in February, March and April to reach the missing children.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, has said the incoming administration must invest in primary health care.
Dr. Ehanire said: “We know that the poor health indices of maternal and child mortality and morbidity largely originate in rural areas that have not received health care. We need to do more in terms of advocacy to encourage the incoming administrations and philanthropists to invest in our PHC and traditional leaders in their PHC. to apply for the standard, one for each political district, state and local governments or politicians running for office.
“Routine immunization is a standard service in PHCs and is free, safe, effective and available across the country. Parents and caregivers should be mobilized to ensure that children receive vaccinations according to the RI schedule in Nigeria.
On his part, the Sultan of Sokoto, Sa’ad Abubakar, pledged to continue mobilizing all households to demand PHC services, especially vaccinations for children.
Abubakar, who was represented by the Emir of Argungu and NTLC Chairman, Sumail’a Mera said the review meeting provides opportunities to discuss activities scheduled for the period.
“Also, we will go into the progress achieved and the challenges to be faced, we will share good practices and exchange new ideas. It is also a way to learn about our government’s new programs and initiatives for the overall development and well-being of our people. So we are always happy to participate and give our best in discussions.
“We assure that we will continue to do our best to mobilize and motivate every husband and mother to apply for PHC services, especially vaccinations for children and families,” he stated.