By Amos Aar
THE Benue State Primary Health Care Board has announced the discovery of a dangerous polio variant has been discovered in the state and vaccination against it is underway as a response for its outbreak.
Health educator, Benue State Primary Health Care Board Makurdi, Mr Emmanuel Beeka, made this known Wednesday while briefing journalists in Makurdi, the Benue State capital. He explained that although wild polio has been eliminated, the discovered variant is mingling through people from other affected places and water coming from those areas hence the need for total vaccination to completely eliminate it.
“In order to try to totally eradicate the polio, the vaccination activities are going on because the variant has been identified in some areas and to avoid some elements of doubt, total vaccination activities are going on to the targeted children of 0-5 years, 9-59 months’ children are being immunised”, he stated, adding that if children are vaccinated at regular intervals, they will be free from polio.
Apart from the polio variant, Beeka revealed that there is also outbreak of measles in the state which needs massive vaccination for children of between 9-59 months.
“Some two or three months back, there was an outbreak of measles in 18 local government areas in Benue State and in that case, there is every need to massively vaccinate the target groups so that that too should be done away with,” Beeka said.
According to the health educator, the campaign for measles vaccination has been “scheduled at the national level” and it’s being implemented at the state level.
He said the formal flag-off for polio vaccination is Friday 7th October, 2022 and will last till Tuesday 11th October, 2022 while flag-off for measles is 19th October, 2022 with full implementation from 20th to 28th of the month.
He stressed the need to enlighten and encourage people to come out to be vaccinated because some people are hesitant about vaccination because of their traditional beliefs, religious beliefs as well as doubt as a result of the efficacy of the vaccine.
Beeka also announced that birth registration and Covid-19 vaccination will be carried out simultaneously during the mass campaign for polio and measles vaccination.
“The Covid-19 vaccination too will be going on during this period. So, for the adults too who have been craving that they have been vaccinating only children, the vaccine has come for them too and we expect that people within the age group should come out to be adequately vaccinated against Covid-19.
“Birth registration too will be going on during the mass campaign for the Measles,” he intimidated.