Polio eradication: Kaduna immunizes children including those with disabilities

No fewer than 2.6 million children, including children with disabilities and deformities, have been immunized by the Kaduna State government.

Kaduna government conducts immunization

This all-wide state exercise against the disease was done by the Kaduna State Primary Health Care Development Agency from January 10 to January 17.

A total of 2.6 million children in the state were vaccinated in the just-concluded routine polio immunization exercise. Children with disabilities were also immunized.

Poliomyelitis is one of the most rampant disabilities in Nigeria. The World Health Organization (WHO) had announced that polio was no longer endemic in Nigeria, but Nigeria has continued to have cases of polio, affecting its young people, particularly in the Northern region, according to a recent United Nations health agency.

Polio remains one of the leading causes of physical disabilities in Nigeria.

Mr. Hamza Ibrahim Ikara, the Director of Disease Control of the Agency, told reporters in Kaduna on Thursday that the immunization exercise was conducted in all the 23 local government areas in the state. He assured that the agency would continue to monitor the situation to ensure that no child was left out.

The director said any child who missed taking the immunization during the routine exercise would be captured in a mop-up immunization that would come up at an unspecified date later.

Appealing to parents to support the agency in its bid to ensure complete eradication of the virus in the state, Ikara assured that the vaccines are safe, and all eligible people who make themselves available should put themselves forward to receive it free.

He said when children in a community are not adequately immunized and they get exposed to a weakened but mutated strain of the poliovirus, they come out with a manifestation of the disease.

The director said the poliovirus was a devastating disease that had caused severe illness and had led to a loss of function of one or more limbs.

According to him, the infection leaves the child with lifelong complications, hence limiting opportunities and diminishing the chances of a child reaching his or her full potential in life.

Ikara said that a mop-up vaccination would be conducted in the next four weeks.

He appreciated the support of the state government for ensuring that residents are protected, diseases are prevented and those in need of care get it.

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