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Anambra gov’t flags off 2nd polio vaccination

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By Gabriel Chy Alonta & Lawrence Nwimo

The Anambra State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (ASPHCDA), on Thursday, flagged off specification exercise for the Inactivated Polio Vaccine 2 (IPV2) introduction into Routine Immunizations in the state.

This was made known at a stakeholders meeting in Awka to galvanize support for the introduction of IPV second routine immunization system.

Speaking at the stakeholders meeting, the Director Disease Control and Immunization of ASPHCDA, Dr. Uliagbafusi Nnamdi, said the introduction would eradicate polio and would protect children against polio related diseases.

He explained that IPV, an injectable form of vaccine, gives additional protection to children against polio by preparing their bodies to fight the polio disease.

According to him, the second dose IPV2, was necessitated by research that indicated need for an improvement in the immunity level to be able to resist polio in its entirety. He said Oral Polio vaccine protects children from polio disease while IPV provides additional, rapid immunity that covers all the 3 types of polio disease.

Also speaking, the National Monitor of NPHCDA Abuja, Grace Samson emphasised that the beneficiaries of the IPV vaccine are children of between 6 weeks to 23 months who may be susceptible to polio disease.

She said it is important for a child to routinely receives two doses of the IPV at 6 weeks and 14 weeks respectively and that in a case where the child misses the doses, parents should ensurer such child receive 2 doses of the vaccine before two years of age.

Acknowledging that the country had attained polio-free in the past, she noted that polio virus had wrecked havoc to the Nigerian child and affirmed that the introduction of IPV would stop any chance of the virus reoccurring in the country

While Samson stated that IPV acts faster because of the routine administration process, she explained that children should get first dose of IPV vaccine at 6 weeks and the second dose at 14 weeks , together with Oral polio vaccine

Earlier, the NPHCDA State Coordinator, Obioha Agbakwuru urged the people of the state to embrace the newly introduced vaccine, describing it as an opportunity to get the dreaded disease eradicated from the communities.

Meanwhile, the State Health Educator, Mrs. Uju Onwuegbuzina, urged the stakeholders to help facilitate the spread of the IPV2 information to their designated branches and communities where they represent.

She also said the overall strategy for IPV is community based advocacy, engagement and mobilization. She added that monitoring and supervision will be employed to ensure success of the exercise.

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