By Stanley Nwanosike
Enugu -The World Health Organisation (WHO) has rated Enugu State high for its satisfactory polio immunisation campaign just-concluded in the state.
The rating and commendation was contained in a preliminary WHO Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) Survey on the polio immunisation campaign carried out in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area (LGA) in August and released in Enugu on Thursday.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the Enugu State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ENS-PHCDA) and health partners embarked on an Oral Polio Vaccination (OPV) and Fractional Inactivated Polio Vaccine (FIPV) immunisation campaign to sustain the state’s polio-free status.
The exercise was targeted at vaccinating 35,775 children from three months to five years in the 16 wards in Uzo-Uwani LGA between Aug. 22 and Aug. 27.
According to the survey, Uzo-Uwani LGA polio immunisation was accepted with LQAS coverage of more than 90 per cent.
“The six selected settlements in the area used for the survey had 100 per cent coverage and no missed children for both FIPV and OPV.
“Although all sampled children were finger marked, more than a third had no Routine Immunization Card and a quarter had no FIPV Card.
“All the 60 children seen in the six settlements in the area were vaccinated in the last IPDs.
“All 60 care-givers of the sampled children were aware of the campaign as well,’’ the survey added.
It, however, suggested that there should be continued data driven Evening Review Meetings (using call-in data template and ODK based supervision data) in future campaigns.
It stressed the need to sustain the current rate of social mobilisation for all immunisation, especially Immunisation Plus Days (IPDs) in the state.
“Strengthen card retention during future teams trainings and social mobilization activities as well as conduct post implementation review of the FIPV campaign at state and LGA levels,’’ the survey said.
Reacting to the survey result, the Executive Secretary of ENS-PHCDA, Dr George Ugwu, said that the independent positive assessment of the just-concluded immunization showed government’s renewed zeal, along with its partners, to use immunisation to reduce disease burden of the state.
“I sincerely thank our children-friendly Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, WHO, UNICEF, Rotary International, among others, for the tremendous support to ENS-PHCDA.
“The agency will fully sustain areas we have done exceptionally well in the polio immunisation.
“We will put more efforts and resources to do better in areas we needed improvement,’’ Ugwu further said.
NAN reports that the immunisation exceeded its projected target of 35,775 children, with 2,077 children after an extension of the exercise by two days.