Polio immunization

In response to the discovery of environmental Polio Virus strains in Lagos State, the Lagos State Government will embark on House to House polio Immunisation for all children aged 0-five years, irrespective of the previous immunisation status.

The government said the move would help prevent poliomyelitis that might result in paralysis of the limbs.

Mrs Modupe Owojuyigbe, Director, Health Education, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, in Lagos on Friday, said that the exercise was scheduled for May 11 to May 14.

She said “Polio immunisation is free, it is safe, it is painless and it is effective.

“Eligible children between the ages 0 to five years are being given the immunisation.

“There is an issue around polio now because there is an environmental strain found in town, in Lagos State, and to avoid the outbreak, we have to give the vaccine to all children.

“The exercise is going to be house to house, churches, mosques, schools, playgrounds, event centres, gated estates, anywhere the children will be found.

“The vaccinators will put markings on the children’s smallest fingers to identify the child that has been given; they will check the nails and once the mark is there, they will know the child has been given.

“We have done the first round in some selected wards in Lagos Mainland & and Mushin Local Government Areas,’’ she said.

According to Owojuyigbe, the May 11 to May 14 immunisation is the second round while the 3rd round will be from June 15 to June 18.

Also, “We have the National Immunisation Plus Day which will come up in July and August.

“Parents and guardians should give consent to school authorities to allow the vaccination teams to give two drops of polio vaccine into the mouth of their children/wards during the exercise.

“Once again, Polio vaccine is safe, free & effective,’’ she said.

She said that parents, caregivers, pastors imams, traditional and community leaders, market leaders, youth groups, proprietors, teachers, artisans, CSOs, NGOs, CBOs and all residents of Lagos State should be informed and residents are advised to contact 08033261359, 08023708901 for more information.

According to the World Health Organisation, WHO, Polio is a highly infectious viral disease that it invades the nervous system, and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.

The virus is transmitted from person-to-person through ingestion of infected faecal matter

Following infection, the virus is shed intermittently in excrement for several weeks with little or no symptoms in majority of cases. The initial symptoms of poliomyelitis include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, neck stiffness and pain in the limbs.