By Stanley Onyekwere
No fewer than 976,003 eligible children with potent oral polio vaccine would be immunized in the First Round 2020 National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs) in Abuja, the nation’s capital, according to the FCT Minister, Dr. Ramatu Tijjani Aliyu.
Aliyu, who stated this during the Flag off ceremony of 2020 National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs) at Dutse Makaranta in Bwari Area Council, also stressed that the exercise was part of the strategies aimed at vaccinating children against poliomyelitis.
The minister used the occasion to reveal that Nigeria, will in the next few months achieve the Africa regional certification as a polio free nation, stressing that the FCT, which has been polio free for over six years, should not be seen as creating an environment for the transmission of the wild polo virus in the country.
Aliyu assured that the FCT Administration was committed to this course and has ensured adequate support to the programme so that good quality implementation of the exercise is carried out in the FCT, adding that in the last National Immunization Plus Days, FCT had a monitoring coverage of 97 percent which was above the minimum acceptable 90 percent coverage.
According to her, “As you are aware, Nigeria, in the next few months would achieve the Africa regional certification as a polio free nation and the FCT, which has been polio free for over six years, should not be seen as creating an environment for the transmission of the wild polo virus in the country.
“FCT is expected to immunize 976,003 eligible children with potent Oral Polio vaccine using 1,631 teams. I therefore wish to reassure you that the FCT Administration is committed to this course and has ensured adequate support to the program so that good quality Implementation of the exercise is carried out in the FCT.”
She, however, warned the task force that its activities are being monitored by partner and donor agencies, the National Polio Emergency Operation Centre of the NPHCDA, as well as the international community, adding the commitments and actions of the task force should be results driven.
Aliyu urged the chairmen of the six area councils and traditional leaders to take up the challenge and be part of tthe Polio end game, just as she equally urged stakeholders to be personally involved in support of polio eradication in their various area councils and communities in the country.
In his remarks, chairman of Gwagwalada Area Council, Hon. Adamu Mustapha Danze, who spoke on behalf of other chairmen commended the administration for taking proactive steps in the immunization of eligible children in the territory.
He however assured the minister that area council authorities will support the exercise by paying their counterpart funds, while calling on mothers to support the exercise by making their children available for immunization.
Our correspondent reports that there have been impressive coverage and turnout for the NIPDs exercise, which enters into its third day, expected to end tomorrow (Tuesday).