Polio Virus: Edo to Commence Second Round Emergency Outbreak Response
By Maureen Nwine
In a bid to keep Edo State free of the circulating variant poliovirus (cVPV2) outbreaks as witnessed in some communities across the country, and to avoid the possibility of mutations that could lead to polio cases among children under five years of age, the Edo State Government through the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA) has perfected plans to commence the second round Emergency Outbreak Response to Polio Virus in the State.
In an emergency meeting by the Social Mobilization Committee, held at the instance of the Agency in Benin City, the Executive Secretary, of the Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), Dr. Omosigho Izedonmwen, charged the committee members to help get all hands on deck so as to achieve the aim of the campaign.
According to Izedomwen “Everything and everyone contributes to health, as the action or inaction of one individual robs off on the immediate community. We should therefore endeavour to promote health not from the treatment point of view but rather from an attitudinal point of view wherever we find ourselves, thus eliminating cases of outbreaks such as Lassa fever and polio”.
In his address, the Director, Disease Control and Immunisation, Dr. Gideon Iraoyah, notified the committee members that the Second Outbreak Response (OBR 2) to circulating variant polio virus (cVPV2) is scheduled to hold from 21st to 24th January 2023, using the novel Oral Polio Vaccine, type 2 (nOPV2), in all Local Government Areas of the State.
Dr. Iraoyah further requested the committee members to use their offices to ensure that all eligible children in their various communities, institutions, organizations, groups, unions and associations are reached during this exercise as immunization is a sure way of preventing childhood killer diseases.
In her brief, the State Immunization Officer, Elfreda Enogie Omoigui, noted that Edo State recorded 107 percent compliance during the first outbreak, with pockets of children missing out on the immunization as a result of non-compliance from some religious bodies, harping on the necessity of having complete compliance from everyone in order for the State to keep the circulating variant polio virus at bay.
Omoigui also stated that the health workers who are to participate in the exercise across the LGAs have been trained, while the training of independent monitors, and vaccine accountability officers comes up this week.
Earlier, the Health Education Officer, Edo State Primary Health Care Development Agency (EDSPHCDA), Mrs. Irene Uabor, charged all to take proactive measures towards curbing the spread of the currently ravaging Lassa Fever, emphasizing that individuals must always present themselves early before a qualified health facility and personnel, once they feel unwell, as that remains the surest means of accessing the qualified and adequate care and treatment which the State Government has made provisions for.
Uabor further acknowledged the representatives of the various partners (WHO, AFENET, Redcross, and Solina Group), traditional leaders, religious bodies, associations, line MDAs and the Media which make up the Social Mobilization Committee, while emphasizing that healthcare workers will be in all Primary Health Care centres, and will be seen moving from house to house, visiting schools, crèches, churches, mosques, markets, motor parks, and all other strategic places where children between the ages of 0-59 months can be found, to administer 2 drops of the Oral Polio Vaccine.