By: Wisdom Acka
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has said it has gone into collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to vaccinate over 2.5 children in the Federal Capital Territory.
Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Yahaya Isah Vatsa, disclosed this during flag off of the polio vaccination exercise in Abuja, Friday.
Vatsa said that though there was no polio in Nigeria, and the country has been certified polio free by WHO since 2017, the Administration was being proactive in vaccinating all children to sustain the current polio-free status of the country.
The Executive Secretary revealed that as an incentive to ensure full participation and success of the vaccination exercise, every child would be given a packet of indomie after vaccination.
According to him, there was enough safe noodles to go round, as 26,936 cartoons of the product totalling 1,197,440 packs was purchased to be distributed to all children who would turn out for the exercise.
He explained that the 12-day routine and preventive immunization with ‘fractional inactivated polio vaccine (fipv) and novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2), would last from 29th July to August 4th, and would be administered to children between the ages of six weeks to 59 months and zero week to 59 months in all government primary and secondary health care centres, and worship centres across the Six Area Councils.
Vatsa further revealed that out of the 2.5 million targeted for the exercise 1, 274,415 children will be vaccinated with (noPV2), while 1,210,588 will take (fiPV).
His words: “All the PHC facilities and government hospitals in the Six Area Councils of the FCT will be used as vaccination post. This will help ease stress on the parents and care givers, there will be temporary vaccination posts situated in workshop Centres, schools, markets, village squares and other designated centres identified by the communities”.
Representative of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr. Kumshida Yakubu Balami, stated that the exercise would help in the fight against poliovirus in the Territory.
Balami noted that key priorities for the vaccination exercise include immediate implementation of the integrated fractional-inactivated polio vaccine and oral polio vaccine intensification across the country.
She stated that significant progress has been made in addressing the evolving risk of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in Nigeria, which FCT is not an exception.
According to her, major factors responsible for risk of transmission of cVPD2 include low immunity to type 2 poliovirus due to low IPV coverage, evolving insecurity, displacement of settlements, and hard-to-reach terrain, restricting access to vaccination.
Other limiting factors include malnutrition, poor sanitation, surveillance gaps among nomadic or migrant population and presence of orphan cVPV2 virus detections, among others.