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Media urged to educate public on dangers of politicising health issues


KADUNA – Dr Sufyan Babale, the Executive Secretary, Kaduna State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, on Thursday urged the media to play significant role in educating people not to mix politics with immunisation and other health issues.

Babale gave the advice in Kaduna at an interactive session organised by UNICEF with Heads of media organisations in the state.

The executive secretary, who described health issues as critical to human survival, also urged people in the state not to retard the progress made in containing the polio virus in the state.

He expressed concern over recent attacks on vaccinators and rejection of the vaccines in some communities, saying that the actions were politically motivated.

The executive director said the media should, therefore, help in enlightening the public against being used by politicians to sabotage the polio immunisation exercise.

Sufyan said the state had not recorded any case of polio since November 2012, and was determined to ensure that the gains recorded were not reversed.

He also said that concrete measures had been adopted to avert the threat posed by the recent polio cases recorded in neigbouring Kano State.

“Apart from establishing critical linkages with the Kano State Government, we have also engaged a lot of health workers to immunise children who missed the previous immunisation and maintain constant surveillance across the state.”

Babale also said the agency was taking environmental samples to ensure that mop up immunisation were conducted in areas where the wild polio virus manifest in the samples collected.

The UNICEF Chief Field Officer in Kaduna, Mr Utpal Moitra, also urged the media not to allow the gains recorded in the fight against polio to slip away.

He said as critical stakeholders, the media had the responsibility to the people, by educating, mobilising and giving voice to them, to make the war on polio, a collective responsibility of all Nigerians.

NAN reports that at the end of the discussion, the media chiefs pledged to offer their support in sustaining the gains recorded so far in the fight against the disease.

They also pledged to adopt various means to sustain public focus on the disease, address areas of misconceptions, and prevent politicisation of immunisation to ensure the eradication of polio in the country by December 2015. (NAN)

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