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Anambra must guard its polio- free status – Ezenyimulu

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By Emeka Chiaghanam

IN efforts toward maintaining its polio-free status in Anambra State and consolidating the gains of primary health care as well as sustaining the well-being of the state, Anambra State Primary Health Care Development Agency (ASPHCDA), held a press briefing on Outbreak Response {OBR1) Campaign for Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus Type 2 (cVDPV2) P) against polio in the State.

  In partnership with partner agencies, the OBR 1 campaign aims to interrupt the circulation of vaccine-derived polio virus, keeping polio at zero level in Anambra State by vaccinating children ages 0-59 months with the polio vaccine.

  In his opening remarks, the Director of Disease Control and Immunisation, ASPHCDA, Dr. Placid Uliagbafusi, said after the eradication of polio in Anambra State and Nigeria in general that we no longer have Wild Polio infection but the emergence of polio vaccine-derived circulating virus Type 2 in some neighbouring states, the need to go to the field to vaccinate  children in Anambra. 

 Speaking at the event held at the Board Room of ASPHCDA, Awka, the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, ASPHCDA, Chioma Ezenyimulu stressed the need for Anambra State and the country to guard jealously its WPV free status and stop the cVDPV2 transmission in communities. As the virus spreads from one unvaccinated child to another over a long period of time, it can  mutate and  take on a form that can cause paralysis just like the Wild Polio Virus.

 Dr. Ezenyimulu assures that vaccines are free and safe and maintained that the polio vaccine protects children whether it is Wild Poliovirus (WPV) or Vaccine derived Poliovirus (CVDPV). Outbreak (whether WPV or CVDPV) are usually rapidly stopped with 2-3 rounds of high-quality, supplementary immunization activities. 

 ”Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) is supporting countries experiencing or at high risk of cVDPV2 outbreaks with the rollout of nOPV2. As a part of its strategy for the response to cVDPV2 2020-2021, the GPEI is implementing a number of tactics to combat the growing threat of CVDPV2. Strengthening routine immunization through the use of inactivated polio vaccine (IPV).”

 On the issue of security on the part of the health personnel during the campaign, Dr. Ezenyimulu assured of adequate security measures identifying seven local government areas, Nnewi South, Ihiala, Ayamelum, Anambra East and West, Ekwusigo and Oyi, then the two LGAs that required extra logistic support, Awka North and Idemili North.

 The OBR (1) implementation takes place from Saturday 9th  – Wednesday 13th April 2022 with health workers designated health facilities besides those that will move from house-to-house, churches, mosques, schools and markets among other places.

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