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Amaechi Flags Off Polio National Immunization Campaign In Rivers

Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has flagged-off in the state the 2013 National Immunization Plus Days Campaign against poliomyelitis, an infectious disease that causes temporary or permanent loss of feeling in the human body.
Governor Amaechi administered oral polio vaccine to two babies, Baby Faith Tom, one year and four months old, and Baby Pamela Engofa, aged three and half years to flag off the National Immunization plus days campaign against polio at the Degema Local Government Council Headquarters, Tuesday.
The governor said he was leading the polio immunization campaign in the state in line with State governors’ decision to lead the polio immunization campaign in their respective states.
He also said his administration plans to make the polio immunization campaign a daily activity in Rivers State in the government drive to successfully push back poliomyelitis from the state.
“Let me say that the governors’ forum in our last meeting directed that all governors must lead the polio drive and that is why this is my second time of coming to participate. The other thing to say is I know I had directed that polio immunization should be routine, I hope you are doing that, is routine, then the next directive that will follow is that either Primary Healthcare Board or Ministry of Health should liaise with all local government council chairmen and ensure that those children that they have not immunize both in schools and churches and homes should be immunize on daily basis.
“We can set aside money for that purpose and it shouldn’t be only polio, it should be everything that we need to do in terms of immunization. It is important we do this. We must do this, while it is routine, we must work with the chairmen of councils to set up groups that we will pay on daily basis or monthly basis that will go house-to-house, church-to-church, school-to-school and immunize everybody on all immunizable diseases including polio because you pay more when you begin to treat a child or a parent than you will pay when you immunize and protect the child from any illness”, he said.
Amaechi further gave the assurance that his administration would further boost healthcare services in the state by building a world-class referral hospital in each of the state’s three senatorial zones.
“Finally is to tell the people of Degema, we have agreed to build three new hospitals or to rebuild three new hospitals, Degema is one to cover the Kalabari areas, I think Bori is the second one and Ahoada is the third one and I have told you the same design we used for the Emenike hospital, let us bring it forward now, advertise for contractors and let us rebuild these hospitals so that it can become referral points for the three senatorial zones”.
Introducing the flag-off of the polio immunization campaign, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr Sampson Parker said the Amaechi administration is prepared to wipe out poliomyelitis from the state.
“We are here today to flag-off immunization campaign. Today the Ministry of Health is celebrating you (Amaechi) for coming for this year’s flag-off as a symbol and an incentive for all the health workers in Rivers State that you have encouraged with your support since you came, building over 120 primary care centres and by our effort today we are talking about immunization range of over 80% in Rivers State”, the health commissioner said.
Earlier, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon Ibigoni Daddy Pokima in his address said the people’s search for a healthy society can only become positive when leaders formulate health policies that provide quality health to the people. He commended Governor Amaechi for providing quality health services to the people of the State.
“Your Excellency, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, our quest for a healthy society can only be positive if those who are responsible for formulating our health policies develop a patriotic cast of mind that has nothing than giving quality health to our people such as what we are doing here today. His Excellency’s presence in Degema today to flag-off the First Round of the National Immunization Plus Days (NIPD’s) 2013 in Rivers State is not a misnomer but demonstrate in clear terms the deliberate resolve of His Excellency’s administration to foster faith and unity among diverse people of this great state by bringing governance, especially quality health services to the doorsteps of the citizenry and it is in line with medically correct emphasis on the preventive rather than curative healthcare”. ####

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