Delta State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, has identified the activities of Boko Haram members as a potential threat to the eradication of polio in the country and called for vigilance from states where there are no incidences of the polio virus.
Uduaghan made the observation yesterday in Sapele, during the 2014 first quarter polio eradication and sensitisation campaign in the state.
According to him, Nigeria ranks among Afghanistan and Pakistan as countries that still have cases of polio in the world, stating that while the two countries have crises related to war, the terrorist activities of Boko Haram in Nigeria was hampering the total eradication of the polio virus and forcing Nigerians to migrate to safer states.
While noting that no incident of polio had been witnessed in Delta State for the past five years, Uduaghan called for vigilance so as to ensure that children are immunised against the dreaded disease.
“Today, there is crisis in some parts of the North, so there will be tendency that people might migrate to this part of the country, this is why we must be vigilant,” the dovernor said, adding “crisis does not help anybody, we must avoid trouble, anywhere there is war, there is displacement.”
While urging Deltans to ensure that their environment is clean as a way of checking the spread of diseases, the governor charged all stakeholders to pay more attention to routine immunisation for their children.
The State Commissioner for Health Dr. Joseph Otumara, in an address, stated that the sensitisation campaign was a strategy aimed at improving the polio vaccination coverage of children aged between 0-59 months, in the collective effort towards the eradication of the crippling poliomyelitis infection.
He stated that the immunisation exercise was to interrupt the transmission of the polio virus and eradicate the disease, noting that polio cases had been reduced from 212, which was reported in the year 2012, to one case reported in 2014 in Nigeria.