ABUJA – The Rotary Club of Abuja on Saturday urged Nigerians to intensify the fight against polio virus by taking preventive measures through immunisation.
The President of the organisation, Mr James Ugbeda said this in Abuja during a 20-KM-Polio -Awareness Walk by some members of the organisation.
Ugbeda said Nigeria was one of the many countries that have fought strongly against the polio virus and the organisation saw the need to join in the fight to help improve the nation’s health.
“The walk is an awareness walk against polio, it is geared towards eradicating polio in Nigeria and we are doing this in collaboration with the federal government specifically the Ministry of Health.
“Rotary has always been at the forefront with the government trying to eradicate polio in Nigeria and we want to totally eradicate it this year.
“We cannot cure an already existing polio case, we can only prevent it from happening and that is the essence of this walk today.
“What we are doing today is to sensitise people the more to reach out, to come out with their children for them to be immunised with the polio vaccine,’’ he said.
Ugbeda noted that in 2013 there was a record of about 53 cases of polio cases in the country.
Mr Amos Okafor, the Polio plus Committee Chairman of the organisation, said the walk was one of the best ways to create awareness in the country.
“It is not a thing of joy that we are still talking about polio in Nigeria; we should have been one of the nations to have completely eradicated polio in the country.
“ Everybody needs this awareness because when a child in a community is affected with polio, every other child in that community stands at risk of the virus.
“Other ways we have tried to carry out the awareness is through the distribution of flyers which was shared out during the walk,’’ Amos said.
The immediate Past President of the organisation, Mr Jeremiah Haruna also said that the Rotary International Club had been at the forefront of pushing for the eradication of polio.
“We have over the years gathered resources to promote immunisation of children so that they will not be affected by the polio virus.
“Nigeria is one of the few countries left with the polio virus and the time to fully eradicate polio is now that is why we are creating this awareness.
“The Rotary International is putting together a polio summit on April 15, where all stakeholders in the country will address the challenges facing the eradication of polio in Nigeria, He said.
“According to Haruna, the summit would be organised in partnership with the Ministry of Health. (NAN)