From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The Federal Government has announced the detection of 130 cases of Circulating Vaccine-Derived Polio Virus (cVPV2), otherwise known as polio type 2, in 47 Local Government Areas (LGAs) across 16 states of the federation.
Executive Director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this, yesterday, at the quarterly meeting of Northern Traditional Leaders’Committee (NTLC) on Primary HealthCare Centres (PHCs) in Abuja.
He, however, said the figure was a 82 per cent reduction compared to what was recorded within same period in 2021 when there were 711 cVPV2 cases.
He said Sokoto and Zamfara states were witnessing breakthrough transmissions and that efforts were being made to control the transmission with the government conducting polio outbreak response campaigns.
He urged northern traditional rulers not to rest on their oars, but that they should continue to leverage their influence to increase individual and community demand for all primary health care centres (PHC) services, particularly polio and COVID-19 vaccination as well as maternal and child healthcare services.
He also reiterated that COVID-19 was still very much around, hence the need to continue to protect Nigerian families, using formidable tools available against the disease.
“As of 4th October, 2022, the number of persons who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 was 41,269,072 (37 per cent) of the total eligible population in Nigeria. Everyday, over 350,000 Nigerians are vaccinated against COVID-19 with the help of traditional rulers,” he said.
Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, in his remarks highlighted the strategic roles of northern traditional rulers in the delivery of PHC services with specific focus on immunisation and other primary health care services.
He announced that similar collaborations were extended to the South West and South East geopolitical zones of the country with a view to achieving similar goals.
“Looking back at our health indices in northern Nigeria before this partnership, I must say that we have made remarkable progress, especially in polio eradication and routine immunisation. We are still not at optimal performance yet because we still have a lot of work to do to achieve our collective goal of bequeathing PHC system that is responsive to the needs of the people. We need to quickly increase coverage across all states to achieve our national target of vaccinating at least 70 per cent of eligible populations 18 years and older,” he said.