FG approves two vaccines into National Immunization Schedule
The Federal government has approved the introduction of two important vaccines that will prevent deaths resulting from severe infections such as pneumonia and meningitis into the National Immunization Schedule, from the first quarter of 2012.
This was stated by the Vice President, Architect Dr. Mohammed Namadi Sambo while representing President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the National Flag-Off Ceremony of the September 2011 Sub-National Immunization Plus Days (SIPDs) and the Launch of the Polio-Free Torch Campaign, at the Maitama General Hospital, Abuja, on Saturday, September 24.
Vice President Sambo stated that, ‘the infectious nature of polio which is one of the childhood killer diseases common in children below age five, paralyses them and decreases our chances of producing more of our future leaders’. Noting that, as at the end of August 2011, 26 children in six states were reported to be paralysed by the Wild Polio Virus (WPV), he said, ‘Part of our responsibility as elected leaders of our people is to ensure that Nigerian children are protected from all childhood killer diseases’. Based on this the Federal Government has introduced two additional vaccines into our immunization schedule.
Vice President Sambo encouraged all Nigerians, especially parents and caregivers of children under age five to take advantage of the provision of the preventive measures of the life-saving two drops of the Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) made available and administered free by the government and her Development Partners to the Nigerian children. He commended the efforts of the various Development Partners such as UNICEF, World Health Organization (WHO), Rotary International, Bill Gates and all health workers for their continued support in ensuring that this disease is completely eradicated.
Architect Sambo called on state governors, LGA chairmen, traditional leaders and women groups to partner with the government to ensure that Nigeria will be polio free by year 2012.
The Vice President decorated selected Polio Ambassadors such as Prof. Umaru Shehu; administered the Oral Polio Vaccine to children; and lighted the Polio-Free Torch. The torch, symbolic because of the 2012 London Olympics, is expected to serve as a reminder that only a polio free child can grow healthy to become an Olympiad.
The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (F.C.T.) Senator Bala Mohammed in his capacity as host of the event commended the resolve of the Federal Government towards the total eradication of the virus. He stated that the presence of Vice President at the event rekindles the hope of the Nigerian Child.
Earlier, The Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu in a call for action said that the 2012 dateline earmarked for the total eradication of the polio virus is feasible. He noted that the launch of the flag off campaign is an indication of a commitment by everyone to this cause.
The Acting Executive Director/CEO of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Emmanuel Abani thanked the Federal Government for the firm support accorded the agency and for providing the enabling environment towards attaining this commendable level of success.
Others in attendance at the ceremony included members of the Diplomatic Corps, traditional rulers, National Assembly members, Nurses, Caregivers, Nigerian mothers and children.
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