About 200,000 minors are currently being immunised against polio virus disease type two, been common among minors between 0 and 5 years of age in Cross River State.
Wife of the Cross River State governor, Linda Ayade, has therefore urged women, religious leaders, traditional rulers, parents, schools, churches and other stakeholders to support the fight against polio in their domains.
Mrs. Ayade who gave the charge at the inaugural ceremony of the immunisation against polio in Calabar, said it was crucial to the survival of children against vaccine-preventable diseases.
Ayade, who was represented by the Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, said the state is targeting over 900,000 children for the exercise.
According to her, the state has inaugurated the second outbreak response meant to eradicate polio Virus Type2 among children and reduce childhood disease.
“Today, we are flagging off the outbreak response 2 Campaign against the dreaded type 2 polio virus. In this particular campaign, we are targeting children between the ages of 0 and 5 years. This is because we want to ensure that Cross River State does not record any case of polio.
“We are hoping to vaccinate over 900,000 children and we believe that this will afford us the opportunity to ensure that every child is protected against the virus. In Cross River State, we do not have any case of polio and we hope to sustain the status in the state. The type 2 virus has reemerged in some states that is why the outbreak response was introduced to ensure that we curb the spread.
“Polio is a highly infectious disease that affects the nervous system of the body and that is why we do not take this disease for granted. It is a disease that once you contact it, there is no cure. The only thing you can do is to prevent it”, Ayade said.
Director-General of Primary Healthcare in the state, Ekpenyong, assured that “the oral polio vaccine is not harmful. It is safe, effective and given free of charge”.
While reacting on the mode and format of the exercise, the Director of Immunisation and Disease Control, Joy Chabo, said: “It is imperative to note that polio mainly affects children under five years of age. There is no cure for polio. It can only be prevented. That is why the campaign was put in place to eradicate circulating variant Polio Virus Type Two (PVT2) amongt children and reduce childhood diseases.
“During the campaign, vaccinators would be seen moving from house to house, religious houses such as churches, mosques and traditional worship centres, as well as crèches, recreational centres, markets, shopping malls, among others.”
The exercise commenced from Big Qua Town, Calabar Municipal Local Government Area in southern Cross River State.