The Rotary International PolioPlus Committee has said it will commence the second round of the 2016 National Immunisation Days starting from Saturday, March 19 to Tuesday, March 22.
Rotary, in conjunction with other major partners like the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Centre for Disease Control (CDC), UNICEF, as well as federal and state governments, also announced that the immunisation would take place in all states of the federation as well as the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Chairman of the Rotary Foundation’s Nigeria National PolioPlus Foundation, Dr. Abdulrahman Olatunji Funsho, told journalists that already over 20,000 ad hoc staff had been recruited for the exercise for Lagos alone.
He said arrangements had been in top gear for over a month to ensure a hitch-free exercise.
He said immunisation and vaccination are not what could just be done without careful planning.
“Every vaccination team has four people,” Funso, a consultant cardiologist explained. “You have a supervisor who takes the record of how many children they immunised, there is also the vaccinator as well as the town announcer. There is also a traditional leader that usually goes with the team.”
He explained further that the ad hoc staff was trained separately and then together to be able to know what and what they were supposed to do when they are on the field. He said there was also what is called micro-map which enabled them to know every household in a particular area. As a result of this, if there was any house not visited, they would know.
“They carry a GPS which we monitor at the control centre. Before they go to those homes, those homes showed as red dots on the monitor. When they get there and spend a certain amount of time there, the red dot will turn to green.”
He said they had gone to this extent to ensure that this exercise is successful and also make sure that every child is immunised.
He expressed happiness that since July 2014, there has not been any new case of polio recorded.
He, however, explained that immunisation is a continuous exercise; hence the need for another national polio immunisation.
The Nigerian PolioPlus Committee was set up by Rotary International to take care of its involvement in polio eradication in Nigeria and other countries.
Since Rotary got involved, Funso said its Foundation had spent over $1.5billion out of which $260million had been spent on Nigeria alone.