The Edo State Government has mobilized resources for sensitization and immunization to protect children in the state from poliomyelitis, after an outbreak of the viral disease was recorded in a neighboring state.
Executive Secretary of the Edo State Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Mrs. Mbarie Imuwahen, said the state government has initiated immunization exercise in Esan Central Local Government Area (LGA); Esan North East LGA; Etsako Central LGA and Etsako East LGA, to prevent the disease from getting into the state.
According to her, “Sometime last month, it was disclosed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) that a variant of polio was isolated in Ibaji LGA of Kogi State.
This LGA shares common boundaries with two local councils of Edo State, namely Etsako Central LGA and Etsako East LGA. While two other LGAs, Esan Central and Esan North East, have low coverage.
“In order to ensure that Edo State is not affected by the virus, the National Emergency Operation Centre (NEOC) has scheduled two rounds of outbreak campaigns using Oral Polio Vaccines (OPV) in the 4 LGAs.
“First round was 20 to 23, September 2019, and the second round is slated for 12 to 15 October 2019. This campaign is expected to be of the highest quality to ensure that no eligible child is missed and also to maintain high population immunity as a deterrent against any infection of the state by the polio virus.”
She said the highly infectious viral disease, which mainly affects young children, is transmitted through contaminated water or food, or contact with an infected person, mainly through the faecal-oral route.
“The polio virus can easily be imported into a polio-free country, state or environment and can spread rapidly among un-immunized populations. To stop transmission, all children under 5 years of age should be vaccinated with OPV.”
She said some of the symptoms of the disease include muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move, adding that the weakness usually involves the legs.