By SOLA OGUNDIPE
A total of 184,543 children aged five years and below were immunised against the wild polio virus in Ogun state between January and December 2012.
The figure surpasses the estimated target of 181,200 children earmarked for immunisation by the state government with the support of donor agencies to interrupt the transmission of wild polio virus in the State.
Disclosing this during the flag-off of the 1st Round of National Immunisation Plus Days, NIPDs, held at Itori Health Centre, Itori, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of the State, the Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun said the main objectives of the exercise is to immunise all eligible children between age 0 – 59 months with oral polio vaccine, OPV, in the communities.
Amosun warned that the polio virus affects the limbs of children mainly between the ages of 0 – 59 months and that where a case of wild polio virus is discovered, about 200 other children in that community are susceptible to infection.
He said the house-to-house immunisation exercise which ends today is completely free, totally safe and effective and capable of boosting the immunity of children.
The Governor said introduction of the pentavalent vaccine would offer the children added protection against diseases causing severe pneumonia and meningitis.
Speaking on behalf of the United Nations supportive agencies, the Coordinator of World Health Organization, WHO, in Ogun State, Dr. Wale Famiyesin, applauded the State for being the first to implement use of pentavalent vaccine in the South West.