From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
FOLLOWING the recent rediscovery of polio in one of the northern state, Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai has directed all parents to make their children available for immunization against polio or face prosecution.
The last time the state recorded a polio case was in 2012.
El-Rufai in a statement, yesterday, said the directive was a mission that all parents must support for the sake of all children below five years old, stressing that vaccination was compulsory.
The statement, which heralded the commencement of a new round of polio vaccination across the 23 local government areas of the state, reiterated the government’s determination to ensure that no child was exposed to the hazards of any preventable disease.
That statement added that the Governor himself chairs the state Taskforce on Polio Eradication Initiative and Routine Immunization hence the need for parents to support the initiative to have a safer and healthier state.
It read in part: “the polio taskforce believes that most parents would easily appreciate the need to vaccinate their children. However, the public interest to protect children against avoidable health threats has led to a decision to make polio vaccination compulsory.
“The state cannot tolerate a situation where the laxity or levity of some parents may expose children to a bleak future. Parents and government must cooperate in guaranteeing good health for children in Kaduna State. The threat from polio is so severe that we must treat it as an emergency. All parents/guardians in the state must ensure that their children/wards are available for immunization.
“Every parent has a duty to protect children from avoidable diseases, so that nothing hinders their chances for a better life and the realization of their full potentials. Voluntary compliance and cooperation with health officials is expected from all parents.
“The Government of Kaduna State wishes to clarify that any parent found obstructing health workers from carrying out their statutory functions will be prosecuted accordingly as prescribed by the law.
“The government hasfurtherdirected that all eligible children in transit within Kaduna Statebe made available for immunization at all transit sites (motor parks, road blocks, railway stations, airports etc.) during the period of the campaign.Teams of vaccinators will work with FRSC and NDLEA officials at partial roadblocks to vaccinate children below five who are in transit on highways within Kaduna State.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to commend parents and guardians, and religious and traditional institutionsfor their overwhelming support for previous immunization campaigns. Their continued cooperation in the effort to eradicate polio in the state is deeply appreciated as a most worthwhile investment in the future of our children.”