Posted by Ola Olugbodi on Nov 13, 2017

Nigeria was declared polio-free in September 2015, however cases discovered in 2016 in the country’s remote north-east put it back on the list of endemic countries alongside Pakistan and Afghanistan.  An integral part of combating polio is a strong surveillance.  Polio surveillance relies on every case of acute flaccid paralysis (the symptoms of polio) to be found and tested for the presence of the virus, due to the fact that it can be caused by a number of things.  To ensure that every case is identified, local healthcare workers, traditional healers, teachers, parents and religious leaders around the world are on the alert for any paralyzed child in their communities.

Research has shown that the administration of vaccines in Nigeria has helped in the eradication of polio in Nigeria.  At this present time, the Polio Global Eradication Initiative has reported that Nigeria has not reported any case of polio in 2017.  This success can be linked to the effort the government  and independent agencies to administer polio vaccines all over the country.

Another key component for eradicating polio is immunization.  Immunizations can save child’s life.  Because of advances in medical science, children can be protected against more diseases than ever before.  Some diseases that once injured or killed thousands of children, have been eliminated completely and others are close to extinction – primarily due to safe and effective vaccines.  Polio is one example of the great impact that vaccines had have in the United States.  Polio was once America’s most-feared disease, causing death and paralysis across the country, but today, thanks to vaccination, there are no reports of polio in the United States.

Vaccination is very safe and effective.  Vaccines are only given to children after a long and careful review by scientists, doctors, and healthcare professionals.  Vaccines will involve some discomfort and may cause pain, redness, or tenderness at the site of injection, but this is minimal compared to the pain, discomfort, and trauma of the diseases these vaccines prevent.  Serious side effects following vaccination, such as severe allergic reaction, are very rare.  The disease-prevention benefits of getting vaccines are much greater than the possible side effects for almost all children.

Immunization protects future generations.  Vaccines have reduced and, in some cases, eliminated many diseases that killed or severely disabled people just a few generations ago.  For example, smallpox vaccination eradicated that disease worldwide.  Children don’t have to get smallpox shots any more because the disease no longer exists.  By vaccinating children against rubella (German measles), reduction of birth defects associated with that virus no longer are seen in the United States.  If we continue vaccinating now, and vaccinating completely, parents in the future may be able to trust that some diseases of today will no longer be around to harm their children in the future. 

Immunizations can save your family time and money.  A child with a vaccine-preventable disease can be denied attendance at schools or child care facilities.  Some vaccine-preventable diseases can result in prolonged disabilities and can take a financial toll because of lost time at work, medical bills or long-term disability care.  In contrast, getting vaccinated against these diseases is a good investment and usually covered by insurance.  The Vaccines for Children program is a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to children from low-income families.

I woke up early in the morning on October 24 with the   mind of impacting my environment positively and bring smiles to at least someone.  I thought of how my dream could be achieved without money because of my situation.  I felt that I should go to road side in front of hospital with my End Polio shirt to sensitize people most especially women on the essence of immunization.  Luckily for me I accompanied one woman to Bowen University Teaching Hospital Ogbomoso and her kid was immunized.  In essence we have to make sure every children get their complete dose of immunization.