The Executive Director, Borno State Primary Health Care Development Agency , (BOHDA), Dr. Sule Mele has said that there is still estimated about 60, 484 unreached children trapped in 2,672 settlements in Borno state that polio vaccination has not reached the communities.
Dr. Sule Mele who was represented by the Incident Manage, Borno State Polio Emergency Operations Centre (Borno EOC), Dr. Aminu Shettima disclosed this at a one day Sensitization Training workshop of Theater Command, Buratai Initiative Task Force (TC BITF) on polio eradication held at the Command Guest House, Maimalari Cantonment, Maiduguri on Saturday.
He said: “Nigeria remains the only polio endemic country in Africa. President Muhammad Buhari is committed to the eradication of polio .
“Also the NigerianArmy under the leadership of Lt General Tukur Buratai has provided great support to the polio eradication drive.
“The commitment of Operations Lafiya Dole theater command has ensured that we have now gone over 32 months without any case of wild polio virus”, Dr. Mele.
Dr Mele further said : “Despite the success, there is stiil more work to be done. There are still an estimated 60,484 unreached children in trapped 2,572 settlements in the state.
“We need to reach theses children and communities before October 2019. We appreciate the magnanimity of the Chief of Staff, Lt Gen. Tukur Buratai in directing that these settlements are reached by August 219.
” The entire country and Africa at large are looking up to the military to expand the reach to these settlements as part of our application of polo free certification,” Dr. Mele said.
Declaring the workshop open, the Chief of Army Staff,(COAS), General Tukur Buratai said ” eradication of polio in Nigeria is the Federal Government’s priority, as President Buhari is committed to the eradication of polio and Borno state is the only state that recorded the only polio case in 2016 and now the army’s collaboration with the other stakeholders are detimined to make sure that Nigeria is certified polio free.”
General Buratai who was represented by the Theater Commander Operation Lafiya Dole, Theater Command Headquarters, Maimalari Cantonment Maiduguri, Major General Benson Akinrolunyo said ” the Nigerian Army is determined to that every part of the country is free of all threats including polio, hence the establishment of Task to take the campaign to unaccessible Ares in the war front.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the Chairman, Theater Command, Buratai Initiative Task Force for Polio Eradication, Colonel Augustine Abudu Omogbethai said the (TC BITF) was established by the Chief of Army staff to access the out reach of polio immunization in the unaccessible areas within the theater.
” Todays trainining of the trainers for sensitization workshop is to take the outreach to our brigades, sectors and units across the theater of war, more especially Borno and Yobe states,”Augustine said.
Col. Augustine further said ” the task of achieving the COAs of eliminating all forms of threats including polio is a must to do deal in our quest of expanding polio eradications in the unreachable areas.”