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The Enugu State Primary Health Development Agency has brought to light the identification of a circulating variant of poliovirus type 2 in an infant residing in Ozalla, a region within the Nkanu West Local Government Area of Enugu State.
Having been detected two weeks ago, the Enugu State Primary Health Development Agency has announced the implementation of an immunization campaign set to take place from July 15 to July 18.
The campaign aims to vaccinate children aged 0 to 5 years in select wards located within three local government areas close to the patient’s place of residence.
The immunization campaign will cover children in the 14 wards of Nkanu West Local Government Area, Ituku, Agbaogugu 1&2 in Agwu Local Government Area, and Udi/Agbudu ward of Udi Local Government Area.
The agency has stated that the primary goal of the Outbreak Response Immunization (OBRO) is to immunize eligible children with effective oral polio vaccines in the selected council areas and wards.
Moreover, the agency has highlighted that symptoms associated with circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2) include weakness in the limbs, hands, and legs.
Dr Chinyere Chime, the State Immunization Officer, explained that the agency’s trained health workers will embark on immunization visits to different locations, including homes, schools, churches, marketplaces, and other areas where children can be found within the designated areas.
The health workers will provide two drops of potent oral polio vaccine to immunize the children during these visits.
Families were urged by Dr. Chinyere Chime to take proactive measures in preventing the virus.
She advised immunizing their children and stressed the importance of practicing good hygiene, which includes using clean water, maintaining proper hand and body hygiene, and and keeping the environment clean.
‘This is the first of its kind in Enugu state and that is why it’s an emergency. There was an eradication of Polio in Nigeria, but we detected this variant two weeks ago in Ozalla. After research, it was pushed to us. We don’t want it to spread to all the local government areas but we don’t know where the child picked it from,’ Chime said.
‘Enugu state is among the 15 states in the first phase of the HPV vaccine to be introduced from 25th September and all the people in the age bracket need to do is to walk into our health facilities and say they want to take it,’ Chime added.
In addition, Dr. Chinyere Chime announced that the state’s routine immunization program will now offer the HPV vaccine to girls aged 9 to 14 years old. The introduction of this vaccine aims to provide protection against cervical cancer.