Polio may resurface if necessary action is not taken – UNICEF | Dailytrust

Polio may resurface if necessary action is not taken – UNICEF

The possibility of wild polio virus resurfacing exists, if necessary actions to curtail it are not followed across the country, the United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) has said.

UNICEF Communication for Development Specialist, Elizabeth Onitolo in her presentation, “Polio Key Messages Post Certification”, said, there was  possibility for polio disease to resurface in Nigeria after certification by World Health Organisation (WHO).

She spoke at a media dialogue on Routine Immunisation(RI) and COVID-19 Vaccination organised by UNICEF in conjunction with the Child Rights Bureau (CRIB) of the Ministry of Information in Yola, Adamawa state on Monday.

Onitolo who said the recorded success was still fragile because immunisation coverage was low, added that many parents were not still compliant, many children are not vaccinated and environmental sanitation and personal hygiene in communities were still low providing possible grounds for polio outbreak.

“The only way to keep safe is to vaccinate every child and maintain healthy immunity. No child should die again from a vaccine-preventable disease. It is over two years without polio in Nigeria and we want to ensure good surveillance,” she said.

She said the dialogue among other things is to improve the knowledge of key media practitioners on low RI coverage, strengthen alliance with the media and also for the media to support the national plan to strengthen immunization on COVID-19 information and provide the media with additional sources of information on COVID-19.

Onitolo also said that majority of Nigerians are scared to get the COVID-19 vaccination, as a result of misinformation on their part while calling on the media to change the mindset of Nigerians through their writings and publications about the deadly COVID-19, and get vaccinated.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Muhammed at the dialogue also said, Nigeria is at a critical point in ensuring access to and update of RI by children across the country and the immunisation challenge is compounded by the COVID-19 pandemic which has resulted in even numbers of children immunised and unimmunised including against polio.

Represented by Temitoye Falayi of the Ministry, he said, despite the certification of Nigeria from Polio, there is an urgent need to address the immunisation situation in Nigeria with attention to COVID-19 and it’s impact of RI and the roll our of Immunisation for COVID-19.

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