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Cross River Govt. pledges support for WHO, partners to eradicate polio

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Cross River Govt. pledges support for WHO, partners to eradicate polio

The Commissioner for Health, Cross River State, Dr. Henry Egbe Ayuk, has stated that the ministry will continue to support partners, individuals, and communities in eradicating all types of Polio, strengthening routine immunisations, and other related health responsibilities in the state.

The commissioner disclosed this during a meeting with a team from the World Health Organization (WHO) to brief him on developments concerning their activities including the Polio Outbreak Response (OBR) assessment in the state.

In his remarks, the State Coordinator of WHO in Cross River, Dr. Ibrahim Salisu, said that WHO has been working with the State Ministry of Health and Primary Health Care Development Agency to strengthen AFP Surveillance and Routine Immunisation Systems in line with the Polio Eradication Strategy.

“The Cross River Government, in collaboration with WHO and partners, jointly carried out a series of interventions including capacity building for surveillance actors, provision of data tools, supporting AFP detection, sample transportation and testing, laboratory support, etc., and we have implemented many rounds of polio vaccination campaigns to eliminate the risk of polio transmission in Cross River State,” Dr. Henry Egbe said.

He further disclosed that WHO supported the deployment of international teams to Nigeria and Cross River State to evaluate the quality and robustness of the Polio Outbreak Response interventions that were carried out in Cross River.

Dr. Salisu added that, “the team will be in Cross River for six (6) days, and so far, it has visited some local government areas.

“We want to assess and see where we are, and what we need to improve. We must ensure that the government, partners, and communities do not relax, as we just concluded another round of the OBR campaign this September.

“If you look at the surveillance and RI indicators in the zone, Cross River State is doing well. But Cross River State also has some peculiarities, in the sense that it has a long international border.

“There are many border communities, riverine communities, hard-to-reach communities, and refugee populations in some LGAs. So we must assess inter-border activities and collaborations for AFP Surveillance and RI systems, to ensure they remain effective”, he further highlighted.

Responding to the issues, Dr. Ayuk reiterated the government’s commitment and continuous support and collaboration with the organisation, while urging them to continue their good work in strengthening integrated services delivery.

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