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Polio Eradication: WHO rates Ondo High in Performance

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Among the seventeen states in the southern region of Nigeria, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has rated Ondo State as the best performing state in polio eradication campaign and routine immunization.

This was disclosed by the representative of the State Coordinator of WHO, Mr. Opeyemi Ekun at the the 2019 first quarter meeting of the state taskforce on polio eradication on Thursday, held at the Cocoa Conference Hall, Governor’s Office in Akure.

Ekun, who lauded the Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration, said this was achievable due to the sustain and scale up progress on immunization of the living and unborn children in the State.

Akeredolu said he stood strong in the belief that immunization is a gospel that must not be weary of spreading and actualising due to the fact that every life, especially Children under the age of five, matter.

The Governor, who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi disclosed that the last quarter of January to March, 2019 under review, showed that the State is not doing badly in the area of routine immunization.

Akeredolu, who compared the first quarter of 2019 to the last quarter of 2018, said the 2018 had 71 percent coverage, while the 3rd dose of the pentavalent vaccine (Penta-3) in the aggregated data for Janaury and Feburary 2019 had a remarkable increase of 79 percent.

Akeredolu noted that he is aware that there are some challenges being experienced in the conduct of routine immunization, adding that his administration is daily putting efforts into surmounting them.

According to him, “for the northern senatorial district, the security situation has improved significantly. Despite this, we are not relenting in our efforts to ensure that the activities of the criminal elements are reduced to their barest minimum in the area and indeed the entire state so that our health workers can go out to vaccinate children.

“For the two riverine local government areas of Ilaje and Ese-Owo, I have been briefed that the Ondo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency (OSPHCDA) has begun discussions with the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) to forge a partnership.

“This partnership is billed to help overcome the challenges of unavailability of motorised boats, difficulty in assessing the hard-to-reach areas and low incentives for healthcare workers who deliver immunisation and other primary healthcare services to our people in difficult terrains of Ilaje, Ese-Odo, Idanre, Odigbo, Akoko North West, just to mention a few. I am convinced that in no time, this partnership will yield better immunization coverage for these areas.

The Governor also revealed that he has approved the recruitment of more healthcare workers to boost the capacity of primary healthcare to deliver on its mandate.

Akeredolu also said he has approved the renovation and the upgrading of 18 primary healthcare facilities across the 18 local governments to meet the Minimum Service Package (MSP) guideline of the federal government.

He however reaffirmed the commitment of his administration of providing functional primary healthcare, saying he recently demonstrated this by the 2nd phase of the commissioning of multi-million naira worth of basic and essential medical gadgets for 300 primary healthcare facilities in the State

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