Immuniation against Polio recorded 100 percent success in Rogo Local Government Area of Kano State, as parents mobilised their children below five years to take part in the immunisation exercise.
The success recorded, according to an official of the primary health care (PHC) in the area, Alhaji Dayyabu Ali Karaye, was due to government’s commitment and perseverance towards polio eradication.
Just few months ago, officials in Kano State said parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated against polio may be prosecuted and could face jail time, as a fresh case of Wild Polio Virus was recorded in Sumaila village in Sumaila council of the state. The government order came as the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, pressurized Nigeria’s northern states to promote vaccination against the highly contagious disease.
According to Karaye, over 15,000 children have been immunised in the area. He said that their quality assessment showed that the area is now polio free because of the compliance received from the communities, especially the remote areas which are housing cattle ranch (Rigan Fulani).
The World Health Organization (WHO) says a polio outbreak began spreading in the second half of 2008, but efforts to contain it have been complicated by rumors that the vaccine is harmful to children.
The polio vaccine is given in a series of shots, with Children expected to receive a total of 4 shots. The first shot is usually given when the child is 2 months old. The booster shots are then given at 4 months, 6 to 18 months, and then 4 to 6 years of age.
This vaccine works by exposing a person to a small dose of the bacteria or a protein from the bacteria, which causes the body to develop immunity to the disease. It will however not treat an active infection that has already developed in the body.
Polio cases have decreased by over 99 percent since 1988, from an estimated 350 000 cases then, to 1604 reported cases in 2009, due to global effort to eradicate the disease.
In 2010, only four countries in the world remain polio-endemic, down from more than 125 in 1988. The remaining countries are Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan.