Dr. Jide Idris, Lagos State Commissioner for Health

The Lagos State Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB) has disclaimed an anonymous news story trending on the social media as well as some national newspapers alleging that an unnamed NGO is going around schools in the State to undermine the just concluded oral vaccination campaign and administering vaccines that are believed to be harmful to children.

A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Tayo Lawal discarded the media reports as false, untenable and a misrepresentation of the position of the government on the successful implementation of the oral polio vaccination campaign which was held from 18th to 22nd May 2019.

According to the release, the just concluded vaccination campaign against polio was conducted by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Lagos State Ministry of Health, LSPHCB in partnership with health development partners such as World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), CDC-AFENET and Rotary International.

It stated that the administration of oral polio vaccines was the sole responsibility of health workers trained to conduct the exercise and no NGO was directly involved in the administration of the vaccines on children as reported in the media.

“As a State, we laud the contributions of these development and supporting partners as well as NGOs who have over time through their various volunteering efforts helped to maintain a ‘polio-free status’ for the State and have continued to intensify advocacy and awareness against the childhood killer disease by putting vast resources into this noble cause,” the Permanent Secretary said.

While restating government’s commitment to continue working with well-meaning organisations, development partners and NGOs to finally kick out polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases from the State and Nigeria at large, Dr. Lawal assured that another round of polio vaccination campaigns will hold in June and July 2019 with the support of the implementing partners.

He emphasised that the polio vaccine being administered is free, safe and effective for protection of children, assuring that the administration of the vaccine is neither hazardous or dangerous to human beings as being falsely propagated.

“In fact, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends that all children below the age of five years get this vaccine for protection against polio,” the statement affirmed.

Dr. Lawal urged all stakeholders including parents, political and religious leaders, civil society organisations and administrators of schools to ensure that children under five years are immunised during the forthcoming polio eradication campaign to reduce the risk of death and disability from vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio.