Cross River State leverages polio campaign structure to integrate Covid-19 vaccination.

M2 PRESSWIRE-October 22, 2021-: Cross River State leverages polio campaign structure to integrate Covid-19 vaccination

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RDATE:21102021

Bassey Eyo, a mother of three, living in Cross River State was delighted that she and her child could receive the COVID-19 vaccine and the novel Oral Polio Vaccine (nOPV2) respectively at a health center in Big Qua.

She had travelled 5 miles to get to Big Qua town with the hope of accessing both vaccines.

"I am happy that I had the opportunity to receive theCOVID 19 vaccination and polio vaccine for my eligible child within the same health facility. We do not have access to the services in the village where my family lives. It was my husband who directed me to Big Qua Town (his hometown). I received the COVID-19 vaccine, and my child got his polio vaccination, and we are both doing well," she said.

For Joan Ewah, an N-Power staff, the availability of both vaccines at the health center where he took his COVID-19 jab encouraged him to take his children to receive the polio vaccine.

"I am excited that both vaccines are accessible as they would encourage many people who bring their children for the Polio vaccine to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. As a parent, I would not like to have a child that is deformed," he said.

To encourage the uptake of COVID-19 vaccination, the Cross River State Government, with support from the World Health Organization (WHO), leveraged the polio vaccination campaign by integrating the Covid-19 vaccination.

On 25 August 2020, Nigeria and the WHO Africa region was certified polio-free after achieving the wild polio virus-free status. However, Nigeria is still combating the Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus Type 2 (cVDPV2), and as a result, necessitated sustain nOPV2 vaccination across the country. From January to September 2021, 22 states reported 327 confirmed cases of cVDPV2. However, Cross River State has not reported any case.

Nevertheless, for preventive measures, the Cross River State Government, supported by partners, implemented a four-days outbreak response (OBR) as a proactive measure to protect all eligible children (0-59 months).

Also, Nigeria is currently combating the COVID-19 pandemic, with 209 546 cases reported and 2838 death as of 19 October 2021. Of which, Cross River state has reported 614 cases.

At the vaccination campaign flag-of, the Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, said the concept was to provide service to the eligible...

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