By Asmau Ahmad
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recorded more than 90 per cent decrease in polio outbreak in Africa in 2012, an official, Mr Basi Wadzin, has said. Wadzin is the State Coordinator of WHO in Plateau. He stated this at the administration of polio vaccines to children at the Primary Health Care Centre in Jos North Local Government Area organised by Rotary Club, District 9125.
The official said globally between 1,000 and 350,000 cases of polio outbreaks were recorded annually in the 80’s and that Nigeria had been certified polio free for almost two years until another outbreak in 2016 in some remote and insecure areas of Borno.
“We are hoping that at the end of 2019, Nigeria and Africa will be certified polio free and we will be able to reach inaccessible areas in the country ….we hope for the possibility to reach every child with concerted efforts from government and other donors and partners…..however, Polio vaccinators cannot reach everywhere because of security challenges and other factors but we believe with the efforts of security agencies we are working towards reaching everywhere,’’ he said.
Mr Ibrahim Umar, Rotary Club Polio Ambassador, said 1,400 immunizations non-compliant case level was recorded in Bauchi in 2012, but had drastically reduced. Umar, who was a survivor in Bauchi, attributed the reduction to intensive sensitisation and social mobilisation through community meetings with religious and traditional leaders on the implications of immunisation non-compliance.
Mr Tolu Omatsola, the past district governor, Rotary Club District 9125, Jos, said Rotary was engaging media organisations to sensitise and sustain its campaign on polio eradication.
He said Rotary club targeted immunising more than 200 children during the exercise as part of activities to mark World Polio Day celebrated annually on Oct. 24. Mr Kamshak Kuden, the state Commissioner for Health, pledged the State Government’s readiness to support Rotary and other development partners on the eradication of polio.