The commercial city of Kano, the northern Nigeria state carrying the heaviest burden of poliomyelitis, seems to be winning the war against the disease, as the state has not recorded any new case of the virus causing the disease in the past 39 months.
According to experts, if the state was able to sustain the trend up to the year 2019, Nigeria which is also presently one of the three countries in the world still grappling with the disease would be certified polio free.
The height achieved so far by the state was attributable to collective the proactive measures mounted by the State Government in collaboration with global partners in the war against the disease.
Kabiru Ibrahim Gesto, Kano State Commissioner for Health, confirmed this while briefing Journalists for Health (J4H) in Kano, as part of activities outlined for the October and November Round vaccination campaign against polio and measles.
“I want to use this opportunity to welcome you all to this important gathering which is aimed at giving first-hand information to media so as to educate care givers and the entire Kano citizens on the October Polio Immunization campaign and mass vaccination against the deadly measles disease.
“As such, I will use this medium to brief you on the giant steps taken by the state ministry of health in collaboration with the National Primary Care Development Agency, Partner Agencies and other key stakeholders in ensuring that all our eligible children are reached with polio and measles vaccines during the two campaigns slated for 14th to 17th October and 2nd to 14th November, 2017.
“I am glad inform you that for the last 39th months Kano has not recorded a single case of Poliomyelitis in the state and this is a true reflection of our collective efforts and Government commitment to provision of quality health care services to the teeming populace.
“We are expected to maintain the trend up to the year 2019 when Nigeria as a nation would be certified polio free” he explained.
As the state is gradually overcoming the polio issue, Getso, disclosed that the state government has kick started a process of intervention for addressing the rising cases of measles among children in the state.
“On other hand, Government is deeply concerned about the measles burden which also called for an immediate intervention. Measles has devastating effects on children which sometime leads to blindness, deafness and if not properly manage may result in death.
“Records have revealed that our coverage during the last measles campaign in 2015 was 87% which is below the national target of 95% of children under the age of 5 years, this is low coverage coupled with frequent reports of suspected cases of measles every year calls for the need for quality nationwide campaign with a view to 95% at national, 97% at state, and 98 to 100% at LGAs of all eligible children.
“There is therefore a great task ahead of all of us to ensure that all parents and care givers are fully aware of these campaigns so as to avail themselves these two opportunities to protect their children from the two deadly diseases: measles and Poliomyelitis” he stressed.
The commissioner added that it was for this reason, that his ministry mounted the campaign in two staggered manner: the 1st 22 lGAs will take off from 2nd to 7th November, while, the remaining 22 LGAs will take off on 7th to 14th, November.