Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Mrs. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has advocated for the strengthening of Routine Immunization and the building of a strong Primary Healthcare system.
Dr. Banigo stated this while speaking virtually at an event to mark the 2020 International World Polio Day.
The Deputy Governor said the World Polio Day presents a global opportunity to rally round in the fight to eradicate the disease forever.
“On this day we join with organizations around the world such as Rotary International and WHO to celebrate the individuals and organizations involved in the global fight against polio and their efforts to completely eradicate the virus.” Dr. Banigo stressed.
According to the Deputy Governor, who is also the Chairman of the Rivers State Task Force on Immunization and Primary Health Care, “the Rivers State Task Force on Immunizations is a multi-ministerial group of very passionate men and women who are determined to improve routine immunization coverage”.
She noted that Governor Wike and his Wife had been a strong pillar of support in the quest to reduce the disease burden of the Rivers People.
“I wish to acknowledge the support of the Rivers State Governor, His Excellency Nyesom Ezenwo Wike and his dear wife, Hon. Justice Eberechi Suzette Nyesom Wike, who is a champion in the fight.” Dr. Banigo stressed.
The Deputy Governor further stressed, that a strong polio eradication programme was a great plus for the overall health systems, adding that the structure that have been put in place to fight polio also addresses issues of malaria, ebola virus, measles, yellow fever, hepatitis and the fight against covid-19 transmission and control.
Dr. Banigo who expressed delight that Africa has kicked out polio commended Rotary Women and all partners for their concerted efforts to eradicate poliomyelitis.
Also Speaking, Rotary District 9141 Governor, Virginia Major said the Deputy Governor who is a Public Health Specialist has been at the head of Rotary’s advocacy and efforts of providing vaccines and support for field work on Immunization.
She said polio eradication has been through high-level polio advocacy, sensitization and public awareness creation, and field activities, including supportive supervision of polio vaccination and surveillance, as well as financial contributions, noting that at the time of achieving Africa’s polio-free status, Rotary has contributed over $2.1 billion to polio eradication efforts in its 41 years of interest in polio.