By Sade Oguntola
OYO State government in collaboration with World Health Organisation (WHO) and Rotary International, says its four-day Outbreak Response to vaccine-derived polio (ORP) campaign is to make sure all children in the state are protected from vaccine-derived polio.
WHO state coordinator, Dr Philip Zorto speaking at its flag-off at Oke Apon Primary Health Care Centre, Ibadan North, said the immunisation campaign is in response to an outbreak of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus and to ensure all children less than five years get vaccinated.
According to him, “if a child is not vaccinated and such a child is infected by vaccine-derived polio, such a child can transmit the virus to other children. So, we want all children to be vaccinated. When we can achieve that, we will be confident to say that the immunity of children in Oyo state is boosted.
“Even if the virus is within the environment, they cannot be infected and they cannot be affected by the virus. Parents should take advantage so that their children can be protected. If they are infected they can come down with paralysis. It is the negligence of the parent in not getting children vaccinated that the paralysis happens.”
Dr Zorto urged religious and community leaders to be vanguards for the OPV campaign to ensure no eligible child misses out on vaccination for all vaccine-preventable illnesses.
In his remark, Executive Secretary of Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Muideen Olatunji stated that although Nigeria is one of the countries that has successfully eradicated polio, occasional flashes of outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus still occur.
Dr Olatunji declared “the response is to give all children another round of polio vaccination to be sure that everyone is well protected. We are commencing the campaign because of a vaccine-derived polio outbreak that we detected in the state a few months back which is the essence of the campaign
“We have enough vaccinators for each local government in the state; security personnel have been integrated into the vaccinator’s team to act as vaccinators or guards in hard-to-reach or security-compromised areas in the state, too.”