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Govs begin campaign against polio

By Henry Umoru

ABUJA – THE Thirty-Six State governors under the aegis, Governors’ Forum will tomorow begin an awareness campaign against wild Polio virus in their various states as part of moves to eradicate it.

According to the Forum, each state governor would on that day implement its awareness campaign programmes in consonance with the peculiar customs, traditions and psyche of their people as well as the existing communities, even as the states are expected to announce the format their campaign programme would take..

In a statement by the Director General of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Mr. Asishana Okauru in Abuja yesterday, noted that the decision to set aside the date for the campaign was taken at a meeting of the governors on July 6, adding that the state executives were also committed to making polio vaccines as well as other vaccines, regularly available in all primary and secondary health facilities in their states.

Okauru noted that at that meeting, the governors resolved to partner with the civil society, opinion leaders, traditional rulers, religious leaders and grassroot politicians geared towards driving the anti-polio campaign to the nooks and crannies of their various states.

It would be recalled that the governors had met with American billionaire businessman, Mr. Bill Gates February 1 this year to  seek his assistance to eradicate polio in Nigeria .

The governors had also in one of their meetings with the Minister of Health, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin in Abuja resolved to partner with all relevant stakeholders aimed at ensuring that polio was eradicated in Nigeria, just as they also agreed to strengthen primary health care and introduce community health insurance.

The Scientific Group of Experts had said in November 2008 that India and Nigeria accounted for 90 per cent of polio cases globally and all of the virus exportations in the past five years.

In Nigeria , records from the Federal Ministry of Health show that polio is prevalent in Kano , Bauchi, Plateau, Oyo and Enugu states.


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