The Ondo State Government says that it will continue to fund the Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (OSPHDA) in order to live up to its mandate of effectively curtailing vaccine-preventable diseases in the state.
The Wife of the State Governor, Mrs Betty Anyanwu- Akeredolu, stated this when she inaugurated the September 2023 National Immunisation Plus Days (NIPDs) on Thursday in Akure.
The governor’s wife, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Dr Olubunmi Osadahun, said government was committed to viable and effective primary healthcare in the 18 local government areas of the state through OSPHDA.
She stated that the Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu-led administration had continuously supported the NIPDs and other Supplemental Immunisation Exercises ( SIEs).
According to her, the state has been ranked among the best performing states in routine immunisation in the country.
She stated that the state had achieved significant progress in the oral polio vaccine coverage and other routine immunisations with 100 per cent in December 2022 and January 2023.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu added that the achievements resulted from the commitment, hard work and dedication of health workers both at state and local government area levels.
The governor’s wife explained that although Nigeria had been certified polio-free, the country could not yet rest because the circulating variant of the polio virus is still in the country, hence the need for continuous vaccination.
“ NIPDs is therefore, one of the national strategies put in place to guarantee a completely polio-free Nigeria and by extension reduce the disease burden rate of children under five years old,” she said.
She commended all partners and supporters for promoting health agenda of the present administration in the state.
The governor’s wife, therefore urged all LGA chairmen, traditional rulers, religious leaders, health workers and communities to step up intervention for the September Immunisation exercise.
She said that failure of one child to take the oral polio vaccine would be a collective failure and a looming danger for the society.
Anyanwu-Akeredolu asked mothers and guardians to make their children and wards between 0 to 59 months old available for vaccination.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Banji Ajaka, said the campaign was to further strengthen the immunisation of children under 5 years against Polio.
Ajaka, who was represented by Mrs Folukemi Aladenola, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, said that in spite that Nigeria had been certified Polio-free, there was need to continue routine and supplement immunisation to combat other circulating variants.
He said that the state government had always been supporting all Immunisation activities and other childhood health interventions.
The commissioner added that the present administration recognises the importance of childhood immunisation being championed nationally and locally by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency and the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Agency respectively.
He said that it was commendable that efforts in the health sector were being duly recognised and applauded at the right and important levels.
According to him, the PHC Leadership Challenge Award was given to
the health agency in the state ably led by the Permanent Secretary, Dr Francis Akanbiemu.
He said that the award was a testament to the hard work. commitment and dedication of the management and staff of the agency.
Ajaka extended his appreciation to all the key players in the Immunisation and PHC activities in the state for their technical and financial supports.
Ajaka said that the state had always recorded huge successes in previous NIPDS rounds, adding that the last exercise was 100 per cent successful.
He said that all hands must be on deck to ensure that the Immunisation is successful, tasking traditional leaders , the religious leaders. market women, students, health workers to ensure another impactful NIPDS campaign.
“To make this successful, every one of us here: health workers and others should ensure that we mention about the NIPDS to motihers and caregivers of children 0-59onths in our various environments.
“Let them know that the health workers will move vaccine around and it is their duty to present their children and wards for vaccination,” he stated.