Polio Plateau takes immunisation exercise to military checkpoints

The initiative was being carried out in collaboration with the Bauchi Field office of UNICEF, and the European Union.

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A soldier at a Nigerian Military checkpoint (illustrative purposes only) play

A soldier at a Nigerian Military checkpoint (illustrative purposes only)

(Agooeast)
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The Plateau Government has extended its routine immunisation exercise to military checkpoints across the state, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

A NAN correspondent, who visited some of the checkpoints along the Jos-Mangu-Langtang route, on Saturday, observed that motorists and passengers with children, who had not been immunised, benefited from the exercise.

Dr. Kuden Kamshak, Commissioner of Health, who also monitored the exercise, told NAN that the initiative was being carried out in collaboration with the Bauchi Field office of UNICEF, and the European Union (EU).

“We want to make sure that every child is reached; we want to kick out the polio virus from Plateau and Nigeria,” he said.

He said that the ministry was forced to explore more initiatives because the conventional house-to-house visits had not captured all the children.

“What we are doing is to intercept the children on the highways, especially those at the border towns where people from other states enter Plateau

“We also want to catch children, who will be on transit while the exercise is going on; we don’t want to take chances.” he said.

Mrs. Margaret Amshi, immunisation specialist attached to the Bauchi Field Office of UNICEF, who also spoke with NAN, said that the innovation was to plug holes through which some children could escape the immunisation.

“The new strategy will capture children who may have missed the exercise, especially those from the North-East.

“Plateau is a gateway to the North-East where Borno is located; you recall that Borno still records cases of polio. We don’t want any case to sneak into Plateau,” she said.

Amshi said that the initiative had been very effective.

“So far, we have captured more than 13,000 children in the first and second rounds of the exercise in Plateau,” she said.

The official called on other states to emulate the initiative so as to rid Nigeria of polio.

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