No fewer than 900,000 children between the ages of 0-and 59 months in Cross River have been targeted for vaccination against polio myelitis Type 2.
Dr Janet Ekpenyong, Director-General of Cross River Primary Healthcare Agency, disclosed this shortly after the inauguration of the campaign on Tuesday in Ugep community, Yakurr Local Government Area.
The inauguration was done by the Paramount Ruler of Yakurr, HRH, Obol Ofem Eteng.
Ekpenyong said that the state was planning to have a 100 percent coverage of the vaccination The Trumpet gathered.
She disclosed that the role of the traditional rulers could never be overemphasized especially in delivering quality and productive healthcare to the citizens.
She employed parents and caregivers to protect the lives of the next generation by granting them the opportunity to get vaccinated within the stipulated time.
She lauded the traditional ruler for always mobilizing children within his community for similar exercises, adding that immunization was a right of a child and the child should not be deprived.
“The state government with support from partner agencies have mapped out strategies to get all children vaccinated, irrespective of weather conditions, topographical challenges as well as other surmountable barriers.
“With the commitment of health workers and strategic leaders like the traditional ruler’s council, religious leaders, youths and women leaders, the state has remained poliomyelitis-free despite panicking figures from some states.
“With the devastating effects of the disease to children within 0-59 months which include economic, psychological and general well-being, there is a need for continuous advocacies and sensitisation in churches, schools and other public gatherings.
“Today, we are officially inaugurating the first round of the outbreak response on poliomyelitis for our children between the ages of 0-59 months because they are the most vulnerable due to their level of immunity,” she said.
The DG noted that due to the outbreak of type 2 poliomyelitis, the federal and state governments embarked on a quick response to ensure that the child mortality rate is lowered.
Speaking earlier, the traditional ruler expressed satisfaction that the exercise of such magnitude was being decentralized to encourage participation and give a sense of belonging to all communities in the state.
He pledged his support towards raising awareness of the outbreak response on poliomyelitis and other health interventions to complement the efforts of the state government and health workers.
On his part, the Director of Public Health, State Ministry of Health, Dr Iwara Iwara, reiterated the government’s commitment towards eradicating vaccine-preventable diseases and encouraging mothers to ensure their children are vaccinated.