The state-wide ‘Zero Campaign Against Polio’ mounted by the Kano State government in collaboration with local and international donor groups was scaled up last week in Wudil, one of few remaining local government areas in the state, still under close observation.
The mounting of the campaign in the rustic Wudil settlement, where a dominant percentage of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), who were forced to flee from their homes in the insurgency-torn states in the North East part of the country, are domiciled, is very critical to the success of the campaign against polio in Nigeria.
Checks conducted by BDSUNDAY during the last round of immunization carried out in the area, indicates a more positive disposition to the exercise by IDPs, whose children fall within the 0-5 years that are the primary target of the campaign.
The concluded ‘house to house’ IPDs in the town was led by Saleh Kausani, the executive chairman of the Local Government Council, and emphasis was placed on the immunization of hundreds of young children of the IDPs.
According to Saleh, most of the vaccinates were directed to focus more on houses identified to be occupied by IDPs because of the number of Wild Polio Virus which prevented Nigeria from being declared Polio Free last year, were discovered among the IDPs.
The Local Government Chairman said he and the Traditional District Head in charge of the locality had fully mobilised all residents of the area to embrace the immunization campaign.
Saleh assured that efforts are on to strengthen the immunization exercise in the areas, and other places, and to ensure that no child was left unimmunized throughout the area.
BDSUNDAY also noted that the state government, during the just concluded February Round of Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) has increased the number of its usual target children for the exercise from 3.2million to over 3.5million.
The State Commissioner for Health, Kabiru Ibrahim Getso, who made the disclosure during the flag off ceremony, said the move was to sustain the present position of the state, having maintained polio-free status in the last 32 months.
The Commissioner noted that the choice of Garun Malam for the flag off was necessitated, owing to the fact that four children were missed during the last IPDs, adding that considering the priority attention accorded the exercise by the state government and other stakeholders, the huge success recorded so far would be sustained.
Getso assured that all the required logistics were adequately mobilised for the exercise, adding that enough vaccines were provided as well as the counter-fund from the 44 local government areas to ensure full implementation of the Polio Immunisation across the state.
Meanwhile, Karaye, Rogo, Gezawa, Kura and Dawakin Kudu among other Local Government Areas where the influx of Fulani migrants usually disrupt the immunization exercise, received boost during the just concluded round following the pre-IPDs intervention meetings held with the Nomad Associations across the 44 LGAs, where how to capture children of the migrants from other neighbouring states was strategised to stem the spread of the virus.
On his part, District Head of Doguwa of Doguwa Local Government Area in Kano State, Aliyu Harazumi, while monitoring the Immunization Plus Days in some wards, pledged continuous support of traditional rulers in the fight against polio. He said polio eradication was a collective responsibility and urged stakeholders to play their role effectively to stamp out the disease.