HealthNewsNigeriaPolio Vaccination: FCTA Targets Over 1.2m Children

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has targeted over 1.2 million children for vaccination against Fractional Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) and the novel oral polio Vaccine (nOPV2).

Mr Malan Haruna, acting Secretary Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA who stated this during the flag-off of the Routine Immunization Intensification Campaign in Abuja, said the effort is part of the FCT Administration’s proactive measure to ensure that children under five years are administered with the vaccines to serve as immune booster against the circulating type2 polio strain.

Haruna emphasized that even though Nigeria has been certified free of the Wild Polio Virus by the WHO since August 25, 2020, the transmission of the new strain called Variant Polio Virus type2 (CVPV2) had continued in some parts of the country, though FCT had not recorded such case yet.

In a remark, the Executive Secretary of FCT Primary Health Care Board, Dr Isah Vatsa said the disease could cause illness that may lead to paralysis in under-immunized or un-immunized populations if not checked.

“We are starting in the FCT 29th July 2023 till 11th August, is a supplemental immunization exercise aimed at interrupting the risk of transmission of all forms of the polio virus and boosting the Routine Immunization coverage in the FCT. The target is to reach and vaccinate every child 0 to 59 months of age in the FCT, irrespective of their previous vaccination status,” Vatsa said.

Also speaking, a representative of WHO Integrated Health Service Delivery in the FCT, Dr Kumshida Balami said there had been an 89% decline in polio in Nigeria, adding that ongoing vaccination is to bridge the surveillance gap, boost children’s immunity, strengthen collaboration between security and traditional leaders, address poor sanitation and ensure that no child is left unvaccinated, including children in the IDPs.

The vaccination will hold in two phases with the first phase on 29th July -4th August 2023 and will cover Abaji, Kwali, Kuje, Gwagwalada, and Bwari Area Councils, while the second phase will commence from 5th August-11th August 2023 and will be strictly in Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC) only.

Hassan Umar Shallpella (Regional Correspondent)

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