The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) on Saturday began the 2023 integrated national immunisation plus tagged “Maternal New bBorn and Child Health Week (MNCHW) to fight against diseases in FCT.
Dr Yakubu Mohammed, the Acting Executive Secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Board (FPHCB), said children between the ages of 0-59 months, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers were the major target for the exercise.
He said that the one week long immunisation would be on polio, measles, deworming, Vitamin A supplementation and maternal/newborn services, while calling on mothers to avail their children for the exercise.
The secretary said that the board would continue to carry out the annual exercise, not minding the certification of the country free from wide polio by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in August 2020.
He said that the national immunisation plus was currently ongoing in 33 states, adding that FCTA intervention on the exercise had been on since 90s.
“Nigeria was certified free of wide polio virus in August 2020
However, in order to brace up with the transmission of various diseases and maintain that zero acceptance of wide polio virus certified by WHO, we need to continue with immunisation to maintain the tempo.
“We will continue to reach out to our target populace, children between the ages of 0 to 59 months, with oral polio vaccine and others, this has become more necessary because the infection has various variants.
“We don’t want to be like some African countries which had been certified wide polio virus free countries but are now coming out with the outbreak of the virus again; countries like Mozambique, Malawi are example of these countries.
“This situation informed the decision of the national programme which is being coordinated by the National Primary Health Care Agency, under the Federal Ministry of Health
It is based on analysis of expert review committee to ensure that the tempo of free polio country is maintained while not taking chances.
“We will not reverse the gains of the free polio declaration country, hence the need why we have to conduct this free polio immunisation plus exercise,” he said.
Mohammed called on mothers to make their children available for the exercise, as well as the media to help champion its awareness. (NAN)