Young children who were afflicted with polio and suffer from paralysis.

Katsina: 2.9m Children to be Immunised Against Polio

No fewer than 2.9 million children in Katsina State are expected to be immunised with factional injectable polio vaccine and oral polio vaccine across the 34 Local Government Areas of the State.

This is an effort to ensure the protection of children’s health in the State from the polio virus and other vaccine-preventable diseases.

The exercise scheduled to commence this week from Saturday 13th to Thursday 18th May 2023, is targeting children between the age of zero to 59 months and is put together by the Katsina State Government in collaboration with non-governmental and international organizations.

In this case, the State is divided into two. The exercise will cover 17 out of the 34 LGAs in the first batch. The second segment, which will commence from the 21st to the 26th of May, 2023, will cover the remaining 17 LGAs.

In a press briefing held on Tuesday at the Emergency Operation Centre of the Katsina Primary Healthcare Agency, the Executive Secretary of the Agency, Dr Shamsuddeen Yahaya, explained that integrated campaign alongside a series of activities and conferences aimed at mobilizing the communities to come out and take the vaccines had since commenced.

“We are all aware that polio has been eradicated in Nigeria since 2020 which is a big achievement but we still have wild poliovirus in some countries around the world specifically Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“In Nigeria, we still have two circulating variants of the polio virus which has the potential to spread and cause serious setbacks.

“Based on that, the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and all other partners deemed it fit to carry out this campaign to strengthen our immunity and ensure that the virus does not creek back into our communities.

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“We have divided the state into two. We are starting with 17 LGAs in the first batch and the second batch which will commence from 19th to 24th May, 2023

“There is going to be an injection for children between 6 weeks and 59 months of age while the other oral vaccine is going to be for children from zero to 59 months. All these vaccines are safe.

“Besides, other routine immunization services are going to be continued (RI Intensification) in order to ensure that we have healthy children across the state.

“We have special teams that are going to work to ensure that children in the security compromised LGAs down to wards and settlements are reached out,” Yahaya explained.

In his remarks, the State Co-ordinator of the World Health Organization, Dr. Mayana Abubakar, explained that the body is the leading technical partner in this campaign.

In the meantime, the Executive Secretary of the Katsina State Primary Healthcare Agency led officials of the agency and other International Organizations such as the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), World Health Organisation (WHO), Nigeria Centre For Disease Control (NCDC), UNICEF, AFENET, Rotary, and other donor partners for advocacy visit to the emirs of Katsina and Daura, their Royal Highnesses, Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, and Umar Faruq Umar respectively in order to mobilize their support in their communities to come out and take the vaccines.

For the Emir of Katsina, HRH Abdulmumini Kabir Usman, the issue of religious beliefs still remains the major impediment in the ongoing advocacy campaign nonetheless actions are being taken at the emirate council level to reverse the trend.

On his part, the Emir of Daura, HRH Umar Umar, promised to fully engage his village and district heads as well as other important stakeholders to ensure strict compliance and 100 percent coverage of the exercise.