In a push against polio epidemic, the Ogun State Primary Health Care Development Board in collaboration with development partners has introduced Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV2) into the Routine Immunisation (RI) schedule.
Speaking at the flag-off ceremony in Abeokuta North local government area of the state, Tomi Coker, commissioner for health, said the introduction of Inactivated Polio Vaccine was one of the four major objectives of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).
This, he said, was a call on all countries that were using Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) to introduce at least one more dose of Inactivated Polio Vaccine into routine immunisation schedules by the end of 2015.
“Despite the introduction of IPV into the Nigeria RI Schedule since 2015, the state has immunised 542,175 (79.4%) children with IPV and 571,580 (83.6%) children with OPV3 between 2018 and 2020, which is lower than the national target of 85 percent coupled with increasing cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) in the country which stands at 36 cases as at July 2021.”
The commissioner explained that the need for the introduction of a second dose of IPV into RI became expedient in order to have higher protection against poliovirus.
In their separate remarks, senior special adviser to the state governor on health, Omotayo Omojole and the board executive secretary, Elijah Ogunsola, implored mothers and caregivers to embrace the IPV2 as it is being administered on their children as their first and second doses at six weeks and 14 weeks so as to boost their immunity and prevent them from being infected with the poliovirus.
They, however, admonished them to present their children and wards at government health facilities across state to get them immunized as and when due.
Head of local government administration in Abeokuta North local government, Tajudeen Olusesi commended the state government for the introduction of IPV2 into the routine immunisation schedule, adding that it would further promote child survival.
But, the state coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), Sunday Abidoye and his counterpart from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Victoria Adebiyi, as well as representatives of United Nations Children Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and Nigeria Polio Plus Committee, Florence Molokwu and Festus Adetomiwa respectively, said the introduction was another stride at improving the health and wellbeing of children in the state, promising the continued technical support of their various organisations.
Abiodun Adenuga and Aderonke Ogunba, who spoke on behalf of mothers and caregivers, appreciated the state government for the initiative and promised to be the advocates of the IPV2 in their various communities across the state.