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Agency calls for concerted efforts to sustain polio-free status

Jigawa State Primary Healthcare Development Agency has called for concerted efforts to sustain the Wild Polio Virus-free status achieved by the state and Nigeria in general.

Its Executive Secretary, Dr Kabir Ibrahim, told newsmen in Dutse on Monday that the state had not recorded any new polio case in the last eight years, while Nigeria was certified polio free recently.

“Jigawa State has not recorded polio case since October 2012, while Nigeria as a country was certified polio free recently.

“This is a very guarded success which has to be sustained through dedicated efforts,’’ he said.

He listed the needed interventions to include mobilisation of communities to keep the environment clean, taking of safe drinking water and avoiding open defecation.

He said that water and sanitation, public health and social development personnel and community members must ensure that communities kept clean environment to avoid resurgence of the virus.

Ibrahim said stakeholders must also ensure that children under the age of five years were continuously vaccinated against any communicable disease.

“Religious and traditional leaders should continue to mobilise people and households in this regard, particularly in allowing their children to be vaccinated.

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“People should also report suspected cases of the virus immediately to the nearest health facilities for prompt action,’’ he admonished.

Ibrahim assured that the agency would put a strong surveillance mechanism in place to ensure that if polio virus should resurface, it would be detected and curtailed in good time.

“We should not just relax because Nigeria was certified polio free and think that the fight is already over,’’ he stressed.

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