Maiduguri — Five countries surrounding the Lake Chad Basin have agreed and pledged financial and military resources to fight polio outbreaks and spread in the country.
Borno State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Haruna Mshelia made this known in Maiduguri, while briefing newsmen on the immediate response campaigns by the State Ministry of Health against the outbreaks of polio in three council areas of the state.
He said that in response to polio outbreaks last month, 887, 095 children below the age of five were immunized.
“The most pertinent challenges so far this year is that outbreak of wild polio virus type 1 was isolated from three Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) at Muna resettlement camp of Jere council, Pulka village in Gwoza council and Monguno council area of Borno state.We have also agreed with the troops that when they liberate communities, our health workers shall go with them to provide first aid to the people there,” Dr. Mshelia said.
According to him, immunizations were administered in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC), Gwoza, Mafa and Bama, where many children and women were rescued from recently liberated communities by the military.
He said that despite the implementation of these immunization strategies, and its impressive outcome, there are still challenges to overcome in kicking out polio from Nigeria and the four other Lake Chad Basin countries, which were Niger, Chad, Cameroon and Central African Republic (CAR).
He said that the state has been walled off the virus for over two years with regular immunization in liberated and accessible areas.
The commissioner noted that with the improving clearance of areas previously occupied by Boko Haram insurgents and liberation of trapped children that had not been reached with immunization for long period of captivity, these unfortunate incidences were accidents waiting to happen.