By Ayodeji Alabi
Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State says era of data falsification by health workers in polio eradication and routine immunisation in the State is gone for good.
Akeredolu made this known in Akure during the State Task Force meeting on polio eradication and routine immunisation.
He explained that the honest attitude of rebranded primary healthcare workers towards routine immunisation services across the 18 local government areas had begun to yield fruits.
“As you all know, the benchmark used in assessing our vaccination effort is the third dose of Pentavalent vaccine (Penta-3) and the records have it that the states real Penta-3 coverage for January-December 2018 is 79 percent.
“This is the true picture of our recent records and renewed attitude.
“It is my belief that should we continue to eschew the temptation of data falsification, we shall steadily advance from this coverage figure till every under-one child is immunised in Ondo state. I commend our primary healthcare workers for this genuine data,” he said.
The governor further said his administration was committed to improving working conditions of health workers to boost their morale towards polio-eradication, and improving routine immunisation.
According to Akeredolu, the morale booster becomes necessary by a responsible and responsive government which recently employed hundreds of health workers for secondary facilities, despite lean resources.
He also expressed the hope that other stakeholders would play their own part in improving health workers performance.
“Remember that primary healthcare is one that can only be effective when the trio of government, health workers and community members work together at all times.
“This sense of patriotism needs to be rekindled at this time to prevent any incidence of polio virus and other vaccine-preventable diseases in our dear state,” he said.
In his presentation, Mr Opeyemi Ekun, representing World Health Organisation (WHO), said there had been no confirmed case of Wild Polio Virus in Nigeria since 2016, hence the nation would be certified polio-free by July 2019.
He explained that part of the challenges included that of security, which impeded the health workers from visiting Fulani settlements and other remote areas.
Ekun advised the state government to tackle incidences of kidnapping in the northern part of the state, to improve routine immunisation coverage. (NAN)