By Stephen Adeleye
Two unconfirmed cases of the polio virus have been reported in Kogi State after being polio-free for 10 years.
Dr Abubakar Yakubu, Executive Director, Kogi Primary Healthcare Development Agency (KSPHCDA), disclosed this on Friday at a stakeholders meeting with the Social Mobilisation Committee (SMC) for National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) in Lokoja.
Yakubu said that the two cases of polio virus were reported in Ankpa and Dekina local government areas (LGAs) of Kogi, saying however, that they were yet to be confirmed.
“Kogi State has been polio-free for more than 10 years now, but unfortunately we are beginning to get some very discouraging signals.
“In fact, recently there were unconfirmed reports yet, of polio virus in Ankpa and Dekina LGAs of Kogi State; although it has not been confirmed.
“’But we have dispatched a team of experts to take samples of those cases and carry out appropriate investigations; the team is already on that task.
“This is why we need to intensify our social mobilisation and campaign, especially for this NIPDs, that is centered on polio vaccination for our children and some other commodities,” Yakubu said.
He, therefore, appealed to all the SMC members drawn from various fields and organisations, to take the assignment very seriously.
“The health of our children, mothers and us, is very important to everybody, including the leader of our state, Gov. Yahaya Bello.
“I want to believe that whatever role we play; we are doing it in the interest of our children, mothers, and the state at large. I pray that God will help us achieve this goal,” Yakubu said.
On his part, Mr Adolphus Okoro, Technical Assistant, National Emergency Routine Immunisation Coordination Centre (NERICC) NPHCDA, Abuja, urged Kogi government to strengthen the SMC to function maximally for effective mobilisation and service delivery across the state.
Mr Olorumaiye Theophilus, the Programme Director, SERICC, said some vaccines would be introduced to children at nine months immunisation during the NIPDs to prevent meningitis.
Responding, a member of the SMC, Mr Titus Alonge, of the Teens Education Development & Information Initiative Nigeria (TEDiiN) an NGO, advised the state to carry members of the SMC along in all its operations.
Mrs Abo Amodu, Social Mobilisation Focal Person KSPHCDA, assured the SMC members of adequate involvement in their activities henceforth.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the house-to-house immunisation for children from age 0-59 months, would last for four days between July 20 and 23, across the 21 LGAs of Kogi.