Home NewsImmunization NPHCDA to stop transmission of polio variant by December – Dr Shuaib

NPHCDA to stop transmission of polio variant by December – Dr Shuaib

by Haruna Gimba

By Asmau Ahmad

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) is working yrgently to stop the transmission of variant Polio virus type II (cVPVII) by December, Dr Faisal Shuaib, the Executive Director of the agency has said.

Shuaib made the pledge on Wednesday during a Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on PHC delivery strategic meeting with traditional leaders of inaccessible areas in six states.

The meeting is organised by the NPHCDA in collaboration with the Sultan Foundation for Peace and Development.

“There are currently 48 reported cases of the cVPVII. The agency will halt the transmission of this variant by building a stronger routine immunisation and PHC system.

The director thanked the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar III for his unwavering leadership and endorsement of primary health care programmes and interventions.

He urged traditional leaders to see beyond the challenges and embrace the opportunities that lie ahead to end the grip of all variants of polio on our land.

“I will like to express my sincere gratitude to Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care Delivery (NTLC), under the esteemed chairmanship of His Royal Highness, Alhaji Samaila Mera, the Emir of Argungu.

“Your consistent support has strengthened our determination and emphasized the significance of collaborating with the traditional institution in shaping our nation’s healthcare landscape.”

“Your guidance and influence have the power to shape the destiny of our communities, and today, we are here to listen to you and ask for your partnership in securing a healthier and brighter future for our children.

“Now, the time has come to overcome polio counterpart known as the circulating variant polio virus (cVPV2). We have the tools, the knowledge, the experience and the unwavering spirit to achieve this monumental task. Your leadership can accelerate our progress.

“The battle against the cVPVII, requires a united front – a bond between traditional, religious and local leaders, health workers, parents, and every citizen who dream of a polio-free future.”

“Your insights, rooted in your deep knowledge of your communities, are invaluable. Through collaboration, we can devise strategies to reach children in this security challenged areas. Over the past two weeks, similar dialogues took place in Sokoto and Zamfara.

“We are sending a resounding message that our communities stand together, fortified against challenges that dare to hinder our progress,” he said.

“Let us address these concerns with the knowledge that vaccines have saved countless lives, that they have given us the gift of health and vitality. Our commitment to eradicating all forms of polio viruses is driven by a collective responsibility to protect our children from preventable suffering.

He urged the traditional leaders to encourage parents and caregivers to embrace vaccines in their communities.

In his remark, Dr Walter Mulombo, a representative of World Health Organisation said the ongoing inaccessibility to the delivery of primary health center services to communities in the North has brought setbacks to the country in achieving universal health coverage.

Molombo said the setback affected the country especially in the instances where vaccination teams cannot access communities because of the fear of being kidnapped or killed.

He added that community informants and surveillance officers had also been limited in their work of disease surveillance, detection,and reporting.

According to him, community members had been limited in their movement to health centers to access health services.

“These Zero Dose children’ have not received any doses of vaccines, or they are under immunised for their age.

“During pregnancy, the mothers of these Zero Dose children’ could not visit the health facilities for the required antenatal care,and to worsen it all, the deliveries of these children were not attended to by skilled birth attendant due to community inaccessibility.

He urged them to maintain valuable support to checkmate the phenomenon of team members finger marking eligible children without vaccination, through intensified close supervision of their activities.

The outbreak of cVDPVII came to the fore barely one year after Nigeria was certified wild polio virus-free by Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC). Before the certification, Nigeria was the only wild polio-endemic country in Africa.

The last case of wild poliovirus was detected in Nigeria in 2016.

Since 1996, polio eradication efforts had prevented up to 1.8 million children from crippling life-long paralysis and saved approximately 180, 000 lives, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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