From Uche Uche, Damaturu
Yobe state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Bello Kawuwa said the state government is employing all measures to tackle the recurring cases of polio in some parts of the state which is due to security challenges. He said the repeated attempt to eradicate the disease is due largely to technical and operational problems as a result of insecurity situation in the state with the result that some children in certain local governments are being missed either by the immunization personnel or by the deliberate refusal of their parents to present them for immunization.
Kawuwa added that the government through the ministry of health has therefore evolved the techniques of using local resources through the people domiciled in those communities who are recruited and trained to deliver the needed services. He said those involved in the immunization process are Ulamas and community leaders who move from one house to another.
He pointed out that knowing that polio is now localized, the ministry has organized a special mobilization team, a health promotion team that embarks on free immunization campaign so that when the immunizers come around, this special mobilization team will now follow so that any case of non compliance are reported.
“Members of the team include Ulamas and community leaders who go from house to house to sensitize householders on the importance of the immunization and how safe the drugs are and though we get dots of non-compliance, people usually get satisfied with explanations they get from the special mobilizers Routine immunization is targeted at polio and other vaccine preventable diseases and Yobe state government is up and doing and when recently we reviewed the success so far, we were able to confirm that we have reached 96% of the target group which is a good coverage,” he said.
“When we compared the trend now and what it used to be before some years past during the hot season we discovered that record of spinal meningitis infection has drastically reduced or even disappeared in our medical record,” he added.