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World Vaccination Day:  we Have Maintained Polio Free Status For 6 Years --- Ononye

By Kenneth Orusi, The Nigerian Voice, Asaba
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Delta State has been able to maintain a polio free status for 6 years running as a result of its collaboration with relevant stakeholders in the health sector, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, has said.

The Health Commissioner disclosed this Friday in Asaba as part of activities to mark the African Vaccination Week , an adaptation of the World Vaccination Day approved by the World Health Organization (WHO), for celebration in all its regions of operation.

Dr. Ononye stated that despite the polio free status recorded by Delta State, Nigeria is still listed amongst polio transmitting countries of the world and pledge the commitment of government to ensure that “our people do not suffer from another disease outbreak”.

He added that yellow fever disease has also been perpetually kept under control in the State and that the State has the ‘machinery’ to combat every vaccine-preventable disease.

According to the Commissioner, the National Programme on Immunization (NPI) provides opportunities through Routine Immunization of infants against tuberculosis, Poliomyelitis, Diphtheria, Pertusis, Hepatitis B, Pneumonia, Measles, Meningitis, and yellow fever as pregnant women are given Tetanus-Diphtheria vaccine to protect them and their unborn babies from the perils of contacting Tetanus and Diphtheria disease.

The Commissioner reiterated the commitment of the state government in ensuring that the Expanded Programme on Immunization remain on course, stating that so much resources by way of funds, logistics and personnel have been deployed towards saving lives of mothers and children who are the most vulnerable to vaccine-preventable disease.

He asserted that surveillance remain key to disease detection and urged all to report any suspected case(s) of, be it vaccine preventable or any other disease to the established health institutions for appropriate action.

Dr. Ononye explained that the World Health Organization Afro Region with headquarters in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo in collaboration with the Governments of 47 out of the 54 member-countries in Africa adopted this year’s theme as ‘Immunization Works, Do your Part’ while Nigeria due to her own peculiarities adopted the theme ‘Vaccines Work, Be an Immunization Champion’.

He therefore called on Deltans to come out and support the vaccination of children and mothers campaign saying that “together we can raise the collective immunity of our communities.