By Chioma ObinnaÂ and Olasunkanmi Akoni
As Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State kicked off another round of the Sub-National Immunization Plus Days (SNIDs)in LagosÂ weekend, said that all the 35 Governors in Nigeria are working out the modality of setting aside a special day for the marking of polio.
The state government has earlier urged all parents and care givers in the state to ensure that all children agedÂ 0 – 5 years receive polio vaccine irrespective of their previous immunization status just has its restated its commitment to seriously addressed the various challenges that have beset routine immunization and supplemental immunization activities in the state which has made the attainment of a polio free state difficult.
Fashola, while flagging off the exercise in Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the state,disclosed thatall the governors have ceaselessly discussed the menace of polio, malaria and other killer diseases at various meetings and concluded that they should display their heartfelt concern for the children by unanimously declaring a day for the observation across the country.
â€œAt the governorsâ€™ forum, we agreed to set aside a day to be observed by all the state governments for the marking of polio in Nigeria,â€ adding that the biggest challenge confronting the country is the eradication of malaria.â€
He commended all the 20 L4 local government areas andÂ 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state for pursuing developmental and people-oriented projects, noting that there is no other way the masses could benefit directly from any responsible government than the initiation of projects that would have direct positive bearing on the children and working class.
Fashola later performed the ceremonial application of anti-polio vaccine on some children between the ages of 0 and 5.
State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide IdrisÂ explained that the health of children in Lagos State remains crucial to the state government adding that the health of children has continued to attract world attention so much so that an important and key Millennium Development Goal (MDG) is the reduction of under-5 mortality (MDG 4).
He opined that the various challenges that have beset routine immunisation and supplemental immunisation activities such as inadequate accessibility evidenced by existence of a large number of communities underserved with routine immunisation services.
He saidÂ child survival interventions especially immunisation, apart from constituting part of the rights of the child, have been widely acknowledged as a veritable strategy towards achieving this laudable goal hence the NIPDsÂ set aside to immunise children 0-59 months.