The World Health Organization (WHO) has said it plans to immunize 240,000 children with the Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) in three local government areas of Sokoto State.
Supplemental Immunization Activities Officer, WHO Nigeria Office, Dr Ana Chevez, who disclosed this in Abuja, Wednesday, said that the children would be immunised in Sokoto North, Sokoto South and Wamakko Local Governments areas between May 2 and May 6, 2015.
Chevez spoke at a one-day round- table discussion with members of Journalists Against Polio (JAP) in the state on the forthcoming exercise.
She said that the exercise was part of efforts to totally eradicate polio in Nigeria.
According to her, no fewer than 411 health camps, each with ten health personnel, community leaders and Hisbah officials, would be opened across the three local government areas during the exercise, adding further that the IPV would be administered to all children of 14 weeks of age as part of routine immunization.
” The injectable polio vaccine is the same as the polio drops (OPV) which is being given to children 0-59 months to protect them from the disease that causes life-long paralysis and even death. In the case of vulnerable local governments like Sokoto North, Sokoto South and Wamakko , this vaccine, IPV, will also be given during the planned immunization campaign to children of 3 to 59 months .
” The exercise will be conducted in these local governments because water collected from their sewage showed traces of the polio virus,” the official added.
Chevez said that the children would also be administered with drugs like anti-malarials and antibiotics during the exercise, in addition to getting gifts including granulated sugar and powdered milk, as incentive to encourage attendance.
According to her, Nigeria will soon be certified polio-free, if the current tempo of success in the polio eradication efforts are sustained.
” This is feasible in Nigeria as only six cases of the wild polio virus cases were recorded in Kano and Yobe states since 2014,” she said.