Benjamin Omoike, Lagos
The Lagos state Primary Health Care Board (LSPHCB) has disclaimed news reports alleging that a non-governmental-organisation is going round schools in the state to undermine the just concluded oral vaccination campaign and administering vaccines believed to be harmful to children.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Lagos state Primary Healthcare Board, Dr. Tayo Lawal, described the media reports as false, untenable and a misrepresentation of the position of the government on the successful implementation of the oral polio vaccination campaign held from May 18 – 22.
According to the release, the just concluded vaccination campaign against polio was conducted by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), the state ministry of health, state primary health care board in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF), CDC-AFENET and Rotary International.
Dr. Lawal stated that the administering of oral polio vaccines was the sole responsibility of health workers trained to conduct the exercise and that no non-governmental-organisation was directly involved in the administration of the vaccines on children as reported in the media.
“As a state, we laud the contributions of these development and supporting partners as well as non-governmental-organisations that have over time, through their various volunteering efforts helped to maintain a polio-free status for the state and have continued to intensify advocacy and awareness against the childhood killer disease by putting vast resources into this noble cause,” he said.
While restating government’s commitment to continue working with well-meaning organisations, development partners and non-governmental-organisations to finally kick out polio and other vaccine-preventable diseases from the state and Nigeria at large, Lawal assured that another round of polio vaccination campaign will hold in June and July with the support of the implementing partners.
He emphasised that the polio vaccine being administered is free, safe and effective for protection of children, assuring that the administration of the vaccine is neither hazardous nor dangerous to human beings as being falsely propagated.
“In fact, the WHO recommends that all children below the age of five years get this vaccine for protection against polio,” the statement affirmed.
Dr. Lawal urged all stakeholders, including parents, political and religious leaders, civil society organisations and administrators of schools to ensure that children under five years are immunised during the forthcoming polio eradication campaign to reduce the risk of death and disability from vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio.