By Adedapo Adesanya
The Plateau State Government has launched immunisation of infants with the new Inactivated Polio Vaccine second dose (IPV2) against poliomyelitis and infant mortality.
The event, which kicked off on Wednesday, was unveiled by Dr Gabriel Adah, a Director from the Federal Primary Health Care Development Agency (PHCDA) and Dr Livinus Miapkwap, Executive Director, Plateau Primary Health Care Board (PHCB) at Epid Unit by former UTC.
Dr Adah described the commencement of the IPV2 immunisation programme as unique and timely, toward warding off any negative impact on the health of infants and the Nigerian society as a whole.
“The Nigerian government is introducing this IPV2 into the nation’s routine immunisation schedule programme to ensure that our children are all well-protected against polio disease.
“Although Nigeria has been certified Polio free since August 2020, we don’t want a resurgence of the disease, hence the introduction of the second dose (IPV2.)
“I can say it is part of what the World Health Organisation (WHO) called ‘Polio End Game Strategy’, toward ensuring that Nigeria maintains her level of certification,” he explained.
According to him, “we are targeting children from age 0 – 23 months and expecting that all parents and guardians cooperate with the Government to ensure that our children, who are eligible are vaccinated appropriately.”
He disclosed that one of the major causes of infants’ mortality, besides malaria and diarrhoea, was polio disease, which he said, was why the government put up a renewed strategy to immunise the children with the vaccine at each stage.
Also speaking, Dr Miapkwap said Plateau State took the lead on kick-starting the introduction and application of the IPV2 immunisation vaccine on infants in the country, to save them from the sting of poliomyelitis.
Represented by Mr Izang Yakubu-Dauda, PHCB Director of disease Control and Immunisation, the Executive Director, said, “it is not out of place that we key into the programme as it is being said that prevention is better than cure.”
He called on parents and guardians in the state to sensitise one another on the need for them to bring their children forward for the IPV2 vaccine.
“We want a society that is free of poliomyelitis disease which can lead to paralysis and inactive limbs.
“As a government, we don’t want to see our children or citizens grow up with defects on their bodies,“ Dr Miapkwap said.
He thanked the federal government and donor agencies such as the WHO and United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) for ensuring that the citizens of Plateau enjoyed healthy living.