By Mustapha Yauri
Abuja – Dr Emmanuel Odu, Acting Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said that the Federal Government has released N9.8 billion for polio eradication and immunisation programme.
Odu made this known on Friday in Abuja during a news conference on the recent polio outbreak in the northeast.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his commitment and the timely release of the fund budgeted for polio eradication and immunisation programme
He said that the agency believed that similar arrangement would be repeated for 2017 to push toward delisting Nigeria as polio endemic country.
Odu said the federal government has released the fund as part of its substantial investment in its determination to save lives, protect Nigeria children and pregnant women.
According to him, after two years without wild polio virus in the country, Nigeria confirmed that three children were paralyzed by the disease in Borno.
“The cases which originated from Jere, Gwoza and Monguno local governments of Borno as a result of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents.
He said as part of the response to the outbreak, the agency was to mobilise personnel to the area to strengthen routine immunisation and notify all the stakeholders.
“Individual case investigation instituted for each of the cases and a comprehensive outbreak response plan was developed.
“As part of the immediate response mop-up targeting five local governments and 820,000 eligible children were vaccinated,” he said.
The executive director said the agency had outlined five rounds of the polio outbreak immunisation response between August and November.
He explained that the first and second rounds were completed and implemented in 18 states in the Northern Nigeria and the FCT.
He stressed that the round targets 31.54 million eligible children and 28, 757 161 children were vaccinated, adding that the remaining rounds would be complete in few weeks ahead.
Odu said the agency in partnership with the armed forces in the planning, implementation and monitoring of campaigns and other strategies for strengthening routine immunisation in-accessible and liberated areas.
“We are also working with the traditional institution to embark on advocacy and community mobilisation to address issue on vaccines rejection due to misconception about polio.
“We have good and effective cold chain arrangement to protect the vaccines,” he said.