By; MOHAMMAD IBRAHIM & AMOS TAUNA, Kaduna.
Determined to keep Kaduna State polio-free, the state government has called on parents in the state to make the Polio Immunization Campaign a success by making all their children below the age of five available for immunization.
A statement, signed and made available to newsmen in Kaduna on Thursday by Samuel Aruwan, spokesperson to Governor Nasir El-Rufa’i, announced the commencement of a new round of polio vaccination in the 23 local government areas in the state.
It said that the campaign reflects the government’s determination to ensure that no child was exposed to the hazards of a disease that could be prevented, that has been eradicated in most of the world.
Aruwan said that Malam Nasir El-Rufai himself chairs the Kaduna State Taskforce on Polio Eradication Initiative and Routine Immunization, reiterating that children must be protected from the severe consequences of non-immunization.
“The polio task force believes that most parents would easily appreciate the need to vaccinate their children. However, the public interest to protect children against avoidable health threats has led to a decision to make polio vaccination compulsory.
“The state cannot tolerate a situation where the laxity or levity of some parents may expose children to a bleak future.Parents and government must cooperate in guaranteeing good health for childrenin Kaduna State.
“The threat from polio is so severe that we must treat it as an emergency. All parents/guardians in the state must ensure that their children/wards are available for immunization.
“Every parent has a duty to protect children from avoidable diseases, so that nothing hinders their chances for a better life and the realization of their full potentials. Voluntary compliance and cooperation with health officials is expected from all parents.
“The Government of Kaduna State wishes to clarify that any parent found obstructing health workers from carrying out their statutory functions will be prosecuted accordingly as prescribed by the law.
“The government has further directed that all eligible children in transit within Kaduna State be made available for immunization at all transit sites (motor parks, road blocks, railway stations, airports etc.) during the period of the campaign.
“Teams of vaccinators will work with FRSC and NDLEA officials at partial roadblocks to vaccinate children below five who are in transit on highways within Kaduna State.
“The Kaduna State Government wishes to commend parents and guardians, and religious and traditional institutionsfor their overwhelming support for previous immunization campaigns.
“Their continued cooperation in the effort to eradicate polio in the state is deeply appreciated as a most worthwhile investment in the future of our children.”