The Kaduna State Government has urged parents to allow their wards below the age of five be immunised against Polio or face prosecution.
A statement issued by Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant to Governor Nasir El-Rufai on Media and Publicity, on Thursday in Kaduna, reminded parents that the vaccination was compulsory.
The government said that a new round of Polio vaccination had commenced across the 23 local government areas in the state.
“The government wishes to clarify that any parent found obstructing health workers from carrying out their statutory functions will be prosecuted according to the law,” Mr. Aruwan said.
He also urged parents to support the programme, saying “polio-free state is a mission that all parents must support for the sake of all children in the state.
“The campaign reflects the government’s determination to ensure that no child is exposed to the hazards of a disease that can be prevented, and which has been eradicated in most parts of the world.”
He said that the state’s Taskforce on Polio Eradication Initiative and Routine Immunization headed by the governor, had reiterated the need to ensure the success of the programme.
He quoted the taskforce as saying, “children must be protected from the severe consequences of non-immunization.
“The polio taskforce believes that most parents would easily appreciate the need to vaccinate their children.
“However, the public interest to protect children against avoidable health threats has led to a decision to make polio vaccination compulsory.
“The state cannot tolerate a situation where the laxity or levity of some parents may expose children to a bleak future.
“Parents and government must cooperate in guaranteeing good health for children in Kaduna State.”
Mr. Aruwan said the threat from polio was real and urged parents to treat it as an emergency.
He advised parents and guardians to ensure that their wards were made available for immunization to ensure its success.
“The government has further directed that all eligible children in transit within Kaduna State be made available for immunization at all transit sites during the period of the campaign,’’ it added.
He said teams of vaccinators had been deployed to work with FRSC and NDLEA officials at partial roadblocks to vaccinate children in transit through highways in the State.
He commended parents, religious and traditional institutions in the state for their support in previous immunization campaigns.
According to him their continued cooperation in the effort to eradicate polio in the state is deeply appreciated as a most worthwhile investment in the future of children.