Toward ensuring certification of Nigeria as a polio-free nation, Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos State, had embarked on sensitisation programme for stakeholders in the health sector.
Mr Kunle Oladele, Head of Public Affairs at the LCDA, said on Monday that the exercise would expose the stakeholders to the ways of updating their charts, documents and data as and when due.
The sensitisation programme was held at the Iyana-Ejigbo Primary Healthcare Centre, with representatives from both private and public health facilities in the LCDA in attendance.
He said that the Polio certification sensitisation would enlighten participants on what was expected of all Nigerian health facilities, so as to know if Nigeria was worthy of the certification.
Oladele said that the sensitisation would also update the knowledge of stakeholders on Polio in general and Acute Flaccid Paralysis (AFP) in particular.
He urged participants to go back to their various hospitals and sensitise their colleagues on what they learnt at the programme.
Oladele said that they should also understand what AFP was about and be able to answer questions on it whenever anybody queries them.
AFP is the sudden onset of floppy weakness in any of the limbs (hands or legs) of a child from 0-15 years of age; or any person of any age with paralytic illness, in which a clinician suspects polio.
AFP could be caused by different things and it could be a symptom of various illnesses, not just Polio.
Addressing participants, the Council Vice-Chairman/Supervisor for Health, Dr Olatunde Olusunmade, said the idea was to totally eradicate Polio virus from Nigeria before the end of the year.
Olusunmade urged the participants to be patient as they have a lot to learn.
“Polio virus is an endemic virus which must be curtailed by all means; it can lead to Poliomyelitis, a disease that may result in paralysis of the limbs, or even death.
“For a child who has been afflicted with paralysis of the limbs, he or she is stuck with it for life.
“It cannot be reversed nor treated. Eradicating the virus is even more important and urgent, because once a child is affected, he or she can pass it on to 200 other children, or even more,’’ he said.