By Bode Akinwumi

The Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, says his administration would continue to ensure that the routine immunization against polio is supported to permanently keep the disease out of the Sunshine State.

Governor Akeredolu made this known while addressing stakeholders at his quarterly meeting with members of the State Polio Task Force in Akure.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon Ifedayo Abegunde, the State Governor said the state had maintained a zero record case of polio since 2009 and therefore urged all stakeholders to keep up the momentum.

“It becomes incumbent on us all, especially those saddled with the responsibility to manage the healthcare delivery system, to sustain this achievement,” he said.

Arakunrin Akeredolu explained that expectations from the drive was to ensure that all eligible persons, particularly children under age one and pregnant women receive appropriate vaccinations as at  when due, thereby achieving a polio-free environment.

“The general welfare of the people shall be the directive principle of governance. We will remain un-shaken in our belief in the possibility of making our people happy,” he said.

The governor used the opportunity to appeal to the people of the state to continue to show understanding as the government grapples with the nagging issue of paucity of funds.

“Overall interest of the generality of the people will be protected by this administration. I therefore request the cooperation and support of all and sundry to ensure that we all remain healthy and happy”, the governor  assured.

In his welcome address, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Wahab Adegbenro had commended the State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu,SAN,for hitting the grounds running in the delivery of qualitative healthcare to the good people of the state since his assumption of office.

He applauded the governor for the flag off of Some Special Immunization Exercises, SIE, which are practical demonstration of his commitments to Routine Immunization and the healthcare of under 5 children in the state.

Dr. Adegbenro who praised the Caretaker Committee Chairmen for their supports, urged them to follow the governor’s footsteps by ceaselessly extending hands of fellowship to the State Primary Healthcare Development Board and the Healthcare sector in general.

The Commissioner said the gesture would help at ensuring that Polio and other preventable diseases are kept in abeyance, such that the health indices of people in the nooks and crannies of the state continue to improve.

He further thanked religious and traditional rulers for their cooperation at ensuring wider coverage of the Routine Immunization programme in all the communities.

“I also commend all our partners, particularly the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency,NPHCDA, World Health Organization,WHO and UNICEF for their steadfastness in both immunization activities and healthcare delivery system in the state”, he said.

The Executive Secretary, Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Board OSPHCDB, Dr Francis Akanbiemu used the opportunity of the meeting to appreciate the governor for approving the sum of 16 million naira for the Routine Immunization Campaign in the state.

At the meeting a feedback report on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization in the state from the office of the State Coordinator of the World Health Organization, WHO, which showed the eradication of polio in the state was presented to all stakeholders.

Stakeholders at the meeting include: officials from the National Primary Health Care Agency; officials of UNICEF; members of the Rotary Club International; officers of the National Orientation Agency;representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria and Market Women.

Some top officials of the State Government at the event are: the Chief of Staff to the State Governor, Chief Olugbenga Ale;  Honourable Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs , Deaconess Omolola Fagbemi; Honourable Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development represented by the Mr Ogunleye; Chairmen of Local Government Councils in the state;  Special Adviser on Health, Dr. Jibayo Adeyeye; the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health, Dr. Taye Oni; his counterpart in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mrs Funmilayo Ogundipe.and the Primary Health Coordinators in the 18 Local Government Councils in the state.